Water Levels To Remain High Across Rideau Valley

Saturday, 08 April 2023 16:24


The Flood Warning and Flood Watch issued on April 6, 2023 remains in effect for the Rideau Valley watershed. Flood conditions are present in many low-lying areas adjacent to several rivers, lakes, creeks and ditches. Additional areas have the potential to flood next week, as the remaining snow within the City of Ottawa and the Tay River watershed is expected to finish melting due to multiple days with high temperatures in the double digits.

The short-term weather forecast indicates no precipitation for next few days. Staring on Monday April 10, 2023, temperatures will remain above zero all day with high temperatures in the double digits.

Based on the above, water levels and flows are generally expected to either remain elevated or increase in all waterways in the Rideau Valley Watershed throughout next week. Some specific areas of concern are highlighted below:

FLOOD WARNING remains for the following areas:

  • Properties around Bob’s Lake, Christie Lake and Tay River in the upper Rideau Valley Watershed.  Parks Canada staff are closely monitoring the water levels in Bobs Lake and Christie Lake, and operations at the Bolingbroke Dam will take place as required, to balance the levels in Bobs Lake and Christie Lake. 
  • Flooding impacts are occurring and expected to continue in the following areas:
    • Properties around the smaller creeks and streams in the lower Rideau Valley Watershed, including the low-lying roads and waterfront properties adjacent to Stevens Creek (near North Gower), and any connected creeks or ditches. Although water levels have receded, some risk of further increase exists with the remaining snowpack. 
    • The Rideau River between Becketts Landing and Manotick, including Kemptville Creek. The water levels throughout this reach are expected to remain high for at least the next week.

 A FLOOD WATCH remains for the following areas:

  •  Properties around Big Rideau Lake, Upper Rideau Lake, and along the Rideau River from Smiths Falls through Burritts Rapids.
  • Low-lying properties (close to Rideau River) on Rideau River Lane and the community of Rideau Gardens. Water levels in this area will remain elevated for at least the next week and may increase somewhat as the snowmelt continues upstream.

With the elevated conditions, potential exists for further impacts if significant additional rain were to occur before the water levels and flows begin to recede.

Due to the presence of ice cover on the lakes mentioned above and the anticipated water level increases, there is a concern for shoreline damage due to large pieces of ice becoming mobile. 

With changing water levels expected over the coming days, ice cover on lakes, ditches, local streams and rivers will continue to be unstable. Extreme caution should be exercised when near local waterbodies. Parents should inform their children of the risks and provide appropriate supervision.

As temperatures continue to rise, the potential for ice jams remains high in some local streams and rivers, as flows could quickly increase before the ice can melt. Residents are advised to monitor their local river closely for signs of ice jams as spring progresses. RVCA staff will be monitoring conditions but we always welcome unique observations from watershed residents. 

Flooding along roadways is also a concern due to current snow/ice buildup on roadside ditches. 

Residents in flood-prone or low-lying areas that are historically susceptible to flooding should take the necessary precautions to protect their property, such as:

  • Ensuring sump pump is clear, in good working condition and has a backwater valve
  • Ensuring easy access to a portable backup generator and pump
  • Ensuring downspouts are clear and the outlet is at least 3 metres from the dwelling
  • Securing items that might float away as flows increase
  • Removing valuable items from basements or lower floors that could be subject to flooding
  • Keeping emergency phone numbers handy
  • Familiarizing yourself with your municipality’s Emergency Preparedness Plan
    This watershed conditions statement is in effect until Friday, April 14, 2023 and may be updated at that time unless the forecast or conditions change. 

More Information:
Brian Stratton, RVCA Manager Engineering Services
Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
613-692-6804, 1-800-267-3504 ext. 1141
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

"Rideau Valley Conservation Authority is a partnership of municipalities within the Rideau Valley watershed created under the Conservation Authorities Act to deliver a range of programs in watershed management and natural resource conservation."

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 specific watercourses or municipalities.