GRCA warns of rising waters, flooding as temperatures rise

CAMBRIDGE – A flood watch issued by the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA)  watershed residents can expect river flows to rise and continue high into next week.

Warm temperatures were forecast to combine with between 10-15 mm of rainfall across the Grand River watershed through this week resulting in significant snowmelt and increased runoff into local waterways. Temperatures were expected to continue to increase through the middle of the week before returning to more seasonal conditions over the weekend.

Flows in local waterways throughout the Grand River watershed were expected to begin increasing on Wednesday and remain elevated into early next week. Runoff from this event will result in flooding in low lying areas typically prone to spring flooding, the authority states.

The GRCA says ice on local waterways is “extremely unstable” and will break up and shift during this event, increasing the risk of flooding in areas prone to ice jams.

A Flood Watch was issued for the entire Grand River watershed due to the anticipated runoff and potential for ice movement.

Municipal flood coordinators were advised to take all necessary actions to prepare for the forecasted flood conditions this week.

Residents and businesses located in the floodplain were urged prepare for the risk of spring flooding and ensure they are aware of their local municipal flood response plans.

GRCA’s major reservoirs at Belwood, Conestogo, Guelph, Luther, Woolwich, Laurel, and Shade’s Mills are being used to store runoff and help reduce flooding downstream of these reservoirs.

GRCA Ice Fishing

Ice Fishing is closed for the season at all GRCA conservation areas that offer this activity.

Stay Safe

The public is reminded to exercise extreme caution around all water bodies. Banks adjacent to rivers and creeks are very slippery at this time and, when combined with cold, fast moving water, pose a serious hazard.

Parents are encouraged to keep their children and pets off frozen water bodies, which will be weakened as a result of the warming trend.