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Rideau Valley Conservation Authority - Watershed Conditions Statement UPDATE APR 12

April 12, 2017 - UPDATE

Flood Warning Downgraded to Flood Watch

With access ways to the waterfront properties on the Long Reach of the Rideau River (Kars to Burritts Rapids) again passable, the Flood Warning, in place for the last week, is now reduced to Flood Watch.

Rain forecast for Saturday evening into Sunday is expected to cause an upturn in flows in the Rideau system. However, flows are expected to have receded sufficiently by then that the increase will have a minor impact. The expectation is that flows, as measured at the recording station at Carleton University, will increase to about 280 cubic metres per second (cms) by early Monday. This is well below the peak flow reached on April 8 (456 cms) and below flows that would cause flooding to happen again.

The Rideau Canal reservoir lakes are all at their full supply level and measures are being taken to bring those levels down within the normal operating ranges for each of the four lakes. However, releases from each of the lakes has to be done to minimize the impacts downstream. Wolfe Lake has to be brought down in concert with Upper Rideau Lake and, in turn, Upper Rideau levels have to be managed within the limits of Big Rideau and Newboro Lakes. Releases from Bobs Lake have to be done with regard for levels on Christie Lake, flows in Perth and flows into Big Rideau and outflow from Big Rideau Lake has to be done with regard for levels on the Long Reach.

While flows are declining and temperatures are warming, it is still risky to be around waterbodies. The water is still relatively high, fast moving and cold so parents need to educate their children about the dangers.

The Flood Watch will remain in effect through the weekend. Conservation Authority staff will continue to monitor conditions and will issue updates as warranted. 

More Information:
Patrick Larson, RVCA Senior Water Resources Technician 
Rideau Valley Conservation Authority 
613-692-6831, 1-800-267-3504 ext. 1210


April 10, 2017 – UPDATE

Water levels have been dropping throughout the Rideau watershed since Saturday but not all flooded areas are fully dry yet.

Water levels have dropped about 22 centimetres since the Saturday peak on the Long Reach between Burritts Rapids and Manotick. Another 34 centimetres are left to go on Hilly Lane and similar amounts on the neighbouring waterfront communities near Kemptville. Until those communities have safe access restored, the Flood Warning will remain in effect.

The decline in levels in the Long Reach will be slowed by rain forecast for tomorrow and by water that has to be released from Big Rideau Lake to alleviate high water conditions on the Rideau Canal reservoir lakes. The release of water will be synchronized as much as possible with the movement of water through the Long Reach to avoid causing levels there to increase again.

Flood waters in and near Windsor Park and in Brantwood Park in Ottawa South and East have receded as have waters in the Richmond area on the Jock River.   It continues to be important for parents to advise their children of the dangers of cold and, in places, fast moving springtime waters. Everyone needs to be cautious.

Conservation Authority staff will continue to monitor conditions and will issue updates as warranted. 

More Information:
Patrick Larson, RVCA Senior Water Resources Technician 
Rideau Valley Conservation Authority 
613-692-6831, 1-800-267-3504 ext. 1210


April 7, 2017 UPDATE

Above Normal Rainfall Causing High Water Throughout Rideau Watershed

Heavy rain on Thursday has caused streamflows and lake levels to increase significantly in the Rideau River watershed.

The amount of rain that fell in eastern Ontario wasn’t quite as much as forecast but it is certainly having an impact. Such water levels were last reached in 2014. The worst impact is in North Grenville and rural Ottawa near the confluence of Kemptville Creek with the Rideau River. 

Some street and pathway flooding is occurring in Ottawa South adjacent to and in Windsor Park and in Ottawa East in Brantwood Park. No residential flooding in urban Ottawa has been reported to the RVCA.

With only light rain showers still in the forecast and runoff has been working its way through the system, the rate of increase of water levels has begun to slow down. Peak flow can be expected to occur tonight or early Saturday at about 450 cubic metres per second as measured at the monitoring station at Carleton University. 

The recession will continue through the weekend. However, there may be a reversal on Monday as Parks Canada staff release water held in the Rideau Canal reservoir lakes that has been held back to provide some peak flow attenuation. This influx of water is expected to slow the recession briefly.

Everyone, especially children, are advised to stay away from the fast flowing and cold water in watershed streams. Also, there may still be ice on some more sheltered lakes that can be expected to be highly unstable and should be avoided.

Conservation Authority staff will continue to monitor conditions and will issue updates as warranted. 

More Information:
Patrick Larson, RVCA Senior Water Resources Technician 
Rideau Valley Conservation Authority 
613-692-6831, 1-800-267-3504 ext. 1210


April 5, 2017

Forecast Rain will Impact Long Reach Waterfront Communities - RVCA

A rainfall in the order of fifty millimetres forecast for Thursday and into Friday in eastern Ontario is expected to cause flooding of waterfront communities on the Long Reach of the Rideau River between Kars and Kemptville.

Hilly Lane, Cedar Beach, Rideau Glen, Fairmile, Greenline, Lorne Bridge and other low-lying neighbourhoods on the Long Reach can be expected to have access road flooding by mid-day Thursday. Some encroachment of flood waters can also be expected in Ottawa South on Belmont Avenue and Rideau River Drive at Belmont as well as into Windsor Park. Brantwood Park is expected to be flooded but the streets behind the park are likely to stay dry.

With elevated water levels in all watercourses in the watershed and ice still present, we advise everybody to stay away. Thirty centimetres of moving water can be hazardous to walk in and icy surfaces compound the danger.

Conservation Authority staff will continue to monitor conditions and will issue updates as conditions change. Peak flows are expected to be reached Friday night or early Saturday and water levels will be receding next week.

More Information:
Patrick Larson, RVCA Senior Water Resources Technician 
Rideau Valley Conservation Authority 
613-692-6831, 1-800-267-3504 ext. 1210

RVCA Watershed Conditions Statements:

  • Water Safety – High flows, unstable banks, melting ice or other factors that could be dangerous for recreational users such as anglers, canoeists, hikers, children, pets, etc. Flooding is not expected.
  • Flood Outlook – Early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts, calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high winds or other conditions that could lead to high runoff, cause ice jams and/or lakeshore flooding or erosion.
  • Flood Watch – Flooding is possible in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and individuals in flood prone areas should prepare.
  • Flood Warning – Flooding is imminent or already occurring in area watercourses.