Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry – North Bay District Bulletin: Wednesday, May 15, 2019
FLOOD WARNING: flooding is imminent or occurring within specific watercourses and municipalities.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry – North Bay District is advising area residents that an Updated Flood Warning is in effect in the District until Wednesday, May 22, 2019.The Ministry is closely monitoring the weather and developing watershed conditions. Further updates will be issued as appropriate.
Description of Weather System
Forecasts for the North Bay District area expect variable precipitation over the next five days with accumulations ranging from 10-20 mm in the northern reaches of the district and 15-20 mm in the southern reaches. Daytime highs for the same period are forecast to range from 10-15 degrees Celsius across the district, with nighttime lows ranging from 4-10 degrees Celsius in the northern reaches of the district and 0-8 degrees Celsius in the southern reaches.
Description of Current Conditions
The North Bay District has experienced significant increases in water levels and stream flows over the past several weeks. The combination of repeated rainfall and snowmelt has resulted in water levels across the district rising significantly, reaching or exceeding flood levels in many areas. In some areas water levels are expected to slowly stabilize over the next several days. In some locations the ground is saturated or remains partially frozen and as a result has little ability to absorb further precipitation. The northern reaches of the district continue to experience snow melt which could impact water levels and flow.
The Ottawa River Watershed continues to be affected by last weeks rainfall events combined with the remaining snow melt on the watershed. Lake Temiskaming water levels are currently sitting at 179.86 m and are expected to stabilize or slowly decrease over the next several days. Water released from Lake Temiskaming flows down the Ottawa River to the Otto Holden Dam, in the Mattawa area, where higher than normal water levels continue. Water levels in Mattawa are currently sitting at 155.39 m and could reach 155.55 m, however, Ottawa River water levels are expected to stabilize or slowly decrease over the next several days.
Due to the magnitude of this year’s flooding, Transport Canada has put navigation restrictions in place on the Ottawa River between the Otto Holden Dam and the Deux Montagnes Lake, and the Mattawa River between Hurdman Dam and the confluence of Mattawa River and Ottawa River. Navigation by non-emergency vessels is strictly prohibited. This includes pleasure craft and human-powered craft, such as canoes or kayaks.
The Montreal River Watershed area continues to see higher than normal water levels and flows which have reached or exceeded flood levels in many areas. Water levels in the watershed are expected to stabilize or slightly decrease in the next several days. In the Latchford area, Bay Lake water levels have exceeded the maximum lake level of 277.15 m and are currently sitting at 277.37 m. Bay Lake levels are forecast to stabilize or slightly decrease in the next few days with the maximum discharge continuing from the Latchford dam.
Lake Temagami water levels continue to remain higher than normal and are forecasted to rise slowly over the next several days due to snowmelt and pressures on the watershed.
The Sturgeon River, Lake Nipissing and French River areas have been impacted by higher than normal water levels. Lake Nipissing water levels are currently sitting at 196.46 m, well above the Maximum ‘Non-Damage’ water level of 196.22 m. Water levels are forecast to climb slowly over the next several days by approximately .5 cm per day. Residents along the French River will continue to see a rise in water levels over the next several days because of higher than normal local inflows and increased discharge from Lake Nipissing.
On Lake Nipissing, boaters are being urged to stay away from shorelines and flood affected areas so that vessel movements do not pose a risk to the safety of individuals or cause damage to the environment, properties and infrastructure.
Due to safety concerns and the higher than normal water levels safety booms in the following locations have not been installed before the upcoming Victoria Day long weekend:
• Latchford Dam
• Temiskaming Dam
• French River Dams (Big Chaudiére, Little Chaudiére and Portage); and
• Hurdman Dam
Recreational users (boats, jet skis, canoes, kayaks, etc.) are urged to stay away from dams and flood affected areas as high water levels and strong currents are dangerous for watercraft and pose a serious safety risk. Reports of large debris (e.g. logs, docks,
decks, etc.) are also being reported in flood affected waters and pose an additional safety risk to recreational users.
Municipalities and residents, especially those in low-lying areas and along shorelines, are encouraged to monitor these conditions and prepare accordingly. Shorelines and banks adjacent to rivers and creeks are very slippery and unstable at this time and, when combined with cold open water, pose a serious hazard.
Road closures and sand bagging efforts continue across much of the North Bay District and many area residents have been impacted by localized flooding.
A close watch on local forecasts and conditions is recommended.
Surface Water Monitoring Centre public webpage www.ontario.ca/flooding
Environment Canada bulletins: www.weather.gc.ca
A close watch on local conditions and weather forecasts from Environment Canada is recommended.