GRCA issues flood watch for Grand River watershed

By CityNews Kitchener Staff

Due to the incoming weather system, the Grand River Conservation Authority has issued a flood watch for the entire Grand River watershed.

GRCA is anticipating runoff, as well as the potential for ice movement.

The system is expected to bring rain, freezing rain, ice pellets and snow. The conservation authority says the conditions are expected to result in a partial melt of the snowpack, which will in turn cause runoff into local waterways, and increase the risk of minor flooding in low-lying areas.

Currently, there are no significant ice jams and significant flooding is not anticipated, but the GRCA adds there's still potential wherever ice is present in the river system.

The rest of the details were contained in a news release, issued on Wednesday:

GRCA reservoirs 

GRCA reservoirs are at their normal operating level for this time of year and conditions are being monitored closely. The GRCA’s major dams are being operated to mitigate downstream flooding and reduce frazil ice generation where possible in an effort to help decrease the potential for ice jams downstream.

Unsafe ice conditions 

This weather event has the potential to create extremely unsafe ice conditions. The public is asked to stay off all unmonitored water bodies due to unsafe conditions. 

Ice conditions can change quickly due to underwater currents, air and water temperature, wind, and precipitation. Accessing frozen natural water bodies puts both the public and municipal first responders at risk. Anyone who falls through the ice could experience hypothermia and death within minutes.  

Stay safe 

Banks adjacent to local waterways are very slippery and, when combined with cold, fast-moving water, pose a serious hazard. Parents are encouraged to keep children and pets away from all water bodies. 

This message will remain in effect until 4:30 p.m. on Friday, February 18, 2022 and will be updated if necessary. 

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