Warm temperatures and rain to cause early melt across Rideau Valley Watershed

Monday, 26 February 2024 11:38

Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
February 26, 2024


Unseasonably warm temperatures combined with significant rainfall are expected to trigger a widespread melt across the Rideau Valley Watershed this week. Temperatures are expected to rise significantly on Tuesday, February 27 and last until Thursday, February 29, with daily highs exceeding 10°C. Widespread precipitation is also expected during this period, with forecasts estimating between 20 and 30 mm of rainfall. Although snow conditions are considered below normal for this time of year, the warm temperatures and added rain will trigger an accelerated melt. Beginning on Tuesday, water levels and flows are expected to increase in all waterways in the Rideau Valley Watershed. The degree of increase will depend on actual precipitation and temperatures over this period. If additional rainfall occurs between Tuesday and Thursday, flooding is possible on smaller creeks and streams in the Rideau Valley Watershed, including Stevens Creek and any connected creeks or ditches (near North Gower) which are highly susceptible to spring flooding.

This short-term forecast does not suggest flooding will occur along the Rideau River, however the elevated water levels and flows will make the region more susceptible to flooding if another storm event occurs in the near future. While significant flooding is not anticipated at this time, it is advised that residents adjacent to smaller tributaries and streams take precautionary measures to protect their property, including:

  • Ensuring sump pumps are clear, in good working condition and have 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

With the expected temperature shift over the coming days, ice cover on lakes, ditches, local streams and rivers will be unstable. Extreme caution should be exercised by everyone when near local waterbodies. Parents should inform their children of the risks and provide appropriate supervision. This watershed conditions statement is in effect until Monday, March 4, 2024 at 5 PM or until an update has been issued.                                                                     -end-

More Information:Justin Robert, Hydrometric Data SpecialistRideau Valley Conservation Authority613-692-6841, 1-800-267-3504 ext. 1194This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.www.rvca.ca/watershed-conditions