Swift swing to spring-like temperatures brings potential for flooding
WASAGA BEACH, ONT. -- The swift swing to spring-like temperatures means there's the potential for flooding.
The Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA) expects some melt as Mother Nature brings double-digit temps by mid-week but is busy monitoring snowpacks in various locations across the watershed to help predict flooding.
Flood operations field specialist Sheri Steiginga said they are also warning the public to stay back from icy waterways.
"There is a bit of a safety concern with people being around the edges of rivers and streams," she said.
The snowpack is average for this time of year, with traditional snow belt areas south of Collingwood receiving the most.
The Grand Valley Conservation Authority issued a flood watch Monday, but most flood forecasters across the region expect the thaw to happen gradually.
Many streams and rivers remain ice-covered, while stronger currents are flowing freely.
Ice jams could pose a problem in some locations but are difficult to predict.
Wasaga Beach Fire Chief Mike McWilliam said any ice is too dangerous for people or pets.
"Keep your pets away from the waterways," he said. "If they get themselves into trouble, you are going after them, and now you are both in trouble, and we will have to rescue both of you."
Meanwhile, the province is in the process of implementing the flood strategy that it released a year ago.
"We can't prevent floods, but we can prepare for them and try to mitigate damage," said John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. "As we make our way towards the spring freshet, our government wants to remind the people of Ontario that we all have a role in minimizing the impacts of flooding. The best thing you can do is be aware and prepared."
Watershed conditions can be monitored online through Ontario's flood forecasting and warning program.