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The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry – North Bay District is advising the residents in the Lake Temagami/Sturgeon River/Lake Nipissing/Upper French River areas that a Flood Warning is in effect until 4pm Thursday, May 02, 2024 unless it’s updated or replaced by this time.

Residents in these areas should keep a close watch on conditions and exercise caution around shorelines and low-lying areas. Please alert and monitor any children under your care to possible dangers and supervise their activities.

The ministry is closely monitoring the weather and developing watershed conditions. Further updates will be issued as appropriate. 

TECHNICAL INFORMATION

Description of Weather System

A Colorado Low is tracking into the province and is forecast to bring widespread rain to the Northeast Region this weekend and into next week. Heavier precipitation is forecast to begin Saturday with 20-30mm of rain forecast. Sunday is forecast to bring 5mm of rain and Monday is forecast to bring 10-15mm of rain. Over the next five days the Lake Temagami, Sturgeon River, Lake Nipissing and Upper French River areas are forecast to receive accumulated rainfall amounts between 35-50mm.

Description of Current Conditions

Water levels and flows in local watercourses continue to be elevated due to runoff generated by weather systems over the past few weeks. Very high-water levels exist from Lake Temagami down to the Upper French River. The forecast rainfall over the next five days is expected to cause flooding and further impact those areas already experiencing flooding conditions. Flooding in historically known flood-prone areas can occur. Recent rain events combined with dormant vegetation and saturated soils has resulted in seasonal water levels increasing significantly.

Lake Temagami water levels are high and have started to enter the flood allowance. The current lake level is 294.01m.

Sturgeon River water levels are currently within normal operating ranges but are expected to see an increase with the forecasted rainfall over the weekend and into next week.

Lake Nipissing water levels are high and are expected to rise with the forecast rainfall. Today’s average level on the lake was measured at 196.24m which has surpassed the maximum ‘non-damage’ level of 196.22m. Flooding has been reported along the shoreline of Lake Nipissing with water levels rising onto properties. Combined with the forecast rain event, a change in wind strength and direction could pose additional risks and cause further damages. 

The Upper French River area is currently seeing high water and rising river levels. The current level at Wolseley Bay is 188.34m which has exceeded the current flood limit. The current level at Dry Pine Bay is 182.71m and it’s anticipated that Dry Pine Bay will approach the current flood limit in the coming days. Residents along the river will continue to see impacts from high water levels.

Municipalities, residents and visitors, especially those in low-lying areas and along shorelines, are encouraged to monitor conditions and prepare accordingly. Shorelines and banks adjacent to waterbodies are very slippery and unstable at this time and when combined with cold, fast flowing water, pose a serious hazard.

Structures such as homes, boat houses and docks could be at risk of flooding if located near lake/river level. Residents in these areas are encouraged to monitor conditions and prepare accordingly.

DEFINITIONS

  • WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT – WATER SAFETY: indicates that high flows, melting ice or other factors could be dangerous for such users as boaters, anglers and swimmers but flooding is not expected.
  • WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT – FLOOD OUTLOOK: gives early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high winds or other conditions
  • SHORELINE CONDITIONS STATEMENT – WATER SAFETY: indicates that along the Great Lakes shorelines high water, melting ice or other factors could be dangerous but flooding is not expected.
  • SHORELINE CONDITIONS STATEMENT – FLOOD OUTLOOK: gives early notice of the potential for flooding along the Great Lakes shorelines based on weather and lake conditions, and water safety information.
  • FLOOD WATCH: potential for flooding exists within specific watercourses and municipalities
  • FLOOD WARNING: flooding is imminent or occurring within specific watercourses and municipalities.

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