This message is valid until Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Forecast rain and warming temperatures in the next few days will encourage the rest of the snowpack to begin melting. Quinte Conservation Water Resources Manager Bryon Keene says, “Flows in area rivers will begin to increase more sharply as a result of the melting snow. The ice cover has weakened on the rivers and in many places waterways are open. The very slow melt is reducing ice jamming concerns and any that have occurred have not resulted in any flooding. Flows in area rivers are only one-third to half of normal, with the exception of Prince Edward County where the largest creeks, Consecon Creek and Black Creek, are at normal conditions and declining. The southern portions of the watershed have little snow remaining and will not contribute dramatically to the flows in smaller creeks. The Moira, Salmon and Napanee Rivers will see increased flows over the next two weeks, but not conditions like we saw last year.”
Keene adds, “Springtime flooding is usually caused by rains during the melt. This year we have received only slightly above half the normal amount of precipitation throughout the winter. We have received only one-third the normal precipitation in March and there is little forecast for early April. Staff are carefully watching conditions to ensure that it can fill reservoirs that supply water to the Moira and Napanee rivers in the summer. There are two reservoirs that supply some summer flow augmentation in the Moira river system – Lingham and Deerock Lake Dams, and there are two reservoirs in the Napanee – 2nd and 3rd Depot Lake dams. Staff are performing dam operations on these reservoirs to fill them during the spring runoff but must also balance the risks of overfilling should the spring rains arrive.”
Quinte Conservation is urging all parents and caregivers to ensure that children do not play along local waterways. Parents and guardians are urged to keep children off the ice and away from the water. Stream banks may be slippery and treacherous. Water flows and currents may be strong. Dams and other water control structures should be avoided at all times. A Water Safety Statement indicates that high flows, unsafe banks, melting ice or other factors could be dangerous for users such as anglers, boaters, swimmers, children or pets. Flooding is not expected.
Children are often interested in exploring rushing streams and thawing ponds during the warmer days of spring. Strong spring currents, unstable ice cover and slippery riverbanks can be a real danger to them. Quinte Conservation has created a water safety video that explains the dangers that come at this time of year and parents and caregivers are encouraged to watch the video and then talk about spring water safety with the children in their lives.
People can visit Quinte Conservation’s website and follow the link to YouTube to be directed to the spring water safety video.
The Watershed Safety Statement will be in effect until April 7, 2015.
Quinte Conservation is a community-based environmental protection agency. It serves 18 municipalities in the watersheds of the Moira, Napanee and Salmon Rivers and Prince Edward County. It provides cost-effective environmental expertise and leadership. Quinte Conservation’s main goal is to create a sustainable ecosystem where people and nature live in harmony.
For more information:
(613) 968-3434 or (613) 354-3312 ext. 125