MVCA: High flows to continue downstream of Crotch Lake

MISSISSIPPI WATERSHED — As the excess water from the December rain/melt is released, flows downstream of Crotch Lake, just west of Mississippi Station in Lanark County, will remain high for the balance of winter. 

“Crotch Lake is actively being drawn down to increase storage in preparation for the spring freshet,” the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) water technologist Jennifer North released in a statement today (Jan. 26). “Based on current forecasts, no flooding is expected.”

At this time there is a risk of ice jamming and/or frazil ice increasing river levels. Air temperatures below -8°C can result in frazil ice formations in open flowing water. Similarly, high flows can dislodge ice sheets creating jams. Both result in water levels rising quickly, without warning.

  • Residents are advised to maintain a close watch on levels and flows and take the necessary precautions to protect their property by:
  • Regularly testing and maintaining sump pumps and backwater valves.
  • Removing or securing items that might float away if levels increase.

“Additionally, ice thickness can change drastically due to high flows,” North said. “The shoreline adjacent to lakes, rivers and creeks is very slippery and poses a serious hazard. Falling into open water can result in hypothermia or drowning.”

The MVCA reminds the public to exercise extreme caution around all water bodies by:

  • Regularly testing ice thickness and staying off all ice that may cover flowing water.
  • Remind children about the dangers of playing on or near ice covered surfaces and open water.
  • Keep pets on leash near frozen water bodies.

    Please note that the MVCA does not monitor ice conditions. This message will be in effect until (or updated before) Monday Feb. 22 at 4:30 p.m.