(North Bay April 7, 2022) Continued snowmelt today following the recent rainfall has caused water levels on urban watercourses including Chippewa Creek to continue to rise and approach the top of bank in some areas this evening, prompting the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority to issue a Watershed Conditions Statement – Flood Outlook.

“Water levels on local watercourses within NBMCA’s jurisdiction are generally at above-average levels for this time of year due to the recent warm temperatures, snowmelt and rainfall.  Continued snowmelt over the coming days may cause water courses to rise further particularly if there is additional precipitation and/or high temperatures,” said Kurtis Romanchuk, NBMCA Duty Officer.

Weather forecasts for the next few days include an estimated 5mm of rain this (Thursday) evening, possibly mixing with snow overnight, and a further 10mm of rain possible tomorrow (Friday).  Trace precipitation is forecast for the weekend. 

While snowpack still remains across NBMCA jurisdiction (average snow-water equivalence of 87.3mm at NBMCA snow survey sites as of April 1st), snowpack in some areas has entirely melted resulting in saturated ground conditions and standing water in low-lying areas.

Localized flooding from area watercourses is possible if substantial rainfall and snowmelt occurs.  Water is likely to accumulate on roadways, parking lots and flat or low-lying areas but serious flooding is not anticipated at this time.

The low temperature tonight will remain above zero around 1 ºC, with a high temperature tomorrow of 6 ºC causing further snowmelt before returning below zero with a low of -1 ºC tomorrow night.  Weekend highs remain around 6 ºC and lows cooling to around -5 ºC overnight. Warmer temperatures are possible Monday.

Lake Nipissing and the Ottawa River remain low, as there has been limited snowmelt from northern areas yet this year.  However, large amounts of snow still remain to the north of NBMCA jurisdiction, in the headwaters of the Lake Nipissing and Ottawa River watersheds.

“It is important for everyone to take care especially along streambanks and shorelines.  Banks are slippery and fast-moving water can pose a serious hazard. The warm temperatures and precipitation will degrade ice conditions on lakes and waterbodies further,” added Romanchuk.

Flood Outlook gives early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high wind or other conditions that could lead to high runoff, cause ice jams, lakeshore flooding or erosion.

All residents, especially those in low-lying areas, are encouraged to monitor the conditions that are developing.  Municipalities are encouraged to monitor shorelines and water crossings and respond as necessary.

A close watch on local conditions and updated forecasts and warnings from Environment Canada is also recommended.  Staff at the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority will continue to monitor weather and watershed conditions and provide updates if conditions change.

The general public is advised of these messages through the www.nbmca.ca website with the flood status icon and a link to information about current conditions.  NBMCA also circulates these messages to local media and social media, posting on Twitter @theNBMCA, Instagram nbmcainfo, and Facebook theNBMCA.                                                                                                                          

The public is invited to share photos of watershed conditions on social media using #NBMCAFlood.

This message will be in effect until (or updated before) Monday, April 11, 2022 at 4 pm.