Watershed Conditions Statement - Flood Outlook Update
December 14, 2015
The Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority would like to issue an updated watershed conditions statement to residents in regard to current watershed conditions and forecasted precipitation.
The precipitation that fell through the day Sunday was less than forecast for Sault Ste. Marie however; areas around the Sault received up to 42 mm. The weather office is indicating that there is a potential for an additional 30 - 45mm of rain for Sault Ste. Marie with higher amounts forecasted for the surrounding area. The heaviest amounts rainfalls are expected this afternoon. The storm will begin to taper off late this evening and overnight.
The Root River has shown a water level increase of over 30 cm with this rain event and is below flood criteria. The Big Carp River water level has increased by 75 cm and may reach close to flood levels if the anticipated rainfall is received. Water levels and flows are predicted to rise at a steady rate with the anticipated rainfalls. The saturated ground conditions are resulting in increased runoff to catch basins, rivers and streams.
The flood control channels owned and maintained by the Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority are flowing well and have a large volume capacity. If the forecasted rainfalls are received, the flood control channels will experience a rise in water levels. It is important to remember that the water in rivers, streams and the channels is extremely cold and fast flowing waters are dangerous.
The Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority will continue to closely monitor stream flows across the watershed.
At this time we do not anticipate flooding of rivers or streams however there may be localized flooding in low lying areas with poor drainage.
The City of Sault Ste. Marie's Public Works and Transportation Department (PWT) is asking for the assistance of city residents in keeping their neighbourhood storm drains clear of debris. Residents are reminded that leaves and other debris on roadways have the potential to plug storm drains, resulting in an increase flooding potential.
Residents should take caution when in close proximity of drainage systems. Parents should ensure children and pets are kept away from these hazardous areas.
The Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority would like to extend a warning to residents and visitors to use extreme caution when close to rivers, creeks and channels. Potential increases in water levels and flows can be especially dangerous and stream banks can be slippery. Please keep children and pets away from fast flowing rivers, streams and channels.
This statement will be in effect until Tuesday December 15, 2015 at 10:30 am.