Entrance to Mattawa Island Conservation Area
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May 7, 2019 11 am -- Mattawa Island Conservation Area on Mattawa River

May 7, 2019, 5 pm - Mattawa Island Conservation Area on Mattawa River

(May 7, 2019 - 4pm) Water levels on the Mattawa River and Lake Nipissing continue to rise in response to continued snowmelt in the northern watersheds.  With the addition of 30-40mm of rain forecast for Wednesday and Thursday, the flood levels on both waterbodies pose flooding threats for shoreline properties extending North Bay-Mattawa’s Flood Warning to May 13.  NBMCA is providing regular updates on the Spring 2019 Flood Event Update page.

“Increasing outflow from reservoirs in the Abitibi-Timiskaming region are causing levels to rapidly rise in the Mattawa area,” said Kurtis Romanchuk, NBMCA Duty Officer.   

Flooding in the low-lying areas in the Town of Mattawa and along the lower Mattawa River, is a result of backwater from the Ottawa River.  Substantial flow is being passed downstream from Temiskaming, due to the warm weather last weekend causing snowmelt in the north.  Otto Holden dam is passing through the flow it receives from Temiskaming, which has a strong effect on the Ottawa River downstream.

The current forecast peak water level for the Ottawa River at the Town of Mattawa is 155.50m (meters above sea level), which is approximately 35cm above its current level, and 5cm above the NBMCA Flood Warning level. Ottawa River at the Mattawa River has risen 382cm since April 17.  

The current Ottawa River water level may be viewed at the Water Survey of Canada (WSC) website (note that there is a delay of several hours, and 100m should be added to the gauge reading for metres above sea level): https://wateroffice.ec.gc.ca/report/real_time_e.html?stn=02JE013   Information about the most current forecasted peak water levels for the Ottawa River may be found at the Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board website: http://www.ottawariver.ca/Forecast-2019.pdf

Lake Nipissing is currently at elevation 196.36m near North Bay, and is forecasted to continue to rise until its peak in approximately two weeks.  The current forecasted “worst case” peak water level for Lake Nipissing is 196.59m, which is approximately 25cm over its current elevation.  Strong wind and storm surge may increase local water levels substantially above this elevation, as well as wave action.  Lake Nipissing has risen 129 cm since the Flood Warning was first issued on April 18.

“This may pose a threat to properties along the Lake Nipissing and Callander Bay shoreline, as well as along the lower La Vase River, particularly if there are strong winds or waves,” added Romanchuk. 

The Parks Creek Backflood Control Structure has been operating on Red Alert and pumping since May 2, to mitigate flooding for 350 homes in the Parks Creek neighbourhood.

Information about the current status of Lake Nipissing may be found at the PWGSC website:


The current Lake Nipissing water level may be viewed at the WSC website (note that there is a delay of several hours, and 190m should be added to the gauge reading for metres above sea level):


Updates on conditions can be found on the NBMCA website:  https://www.nbmca.ca/watershed-management/flood-forecasting/spring-2019-flood-event-updates/

The Town of Mattawa reports that sand and bags are available at their municipal public works yard, Municipal public works garage 1276 Mills St. Mattawa.  Volunteer assistance is welcome.  Municipal office 705-744-5611.  

The City of North Bay City is taking precautionary measures for flood prevention and property protection by making sand and sandbags available starting Wednesday, May 8 at Sunset Park at the end of Sunset Boulevard and Champlain Park at the end of Premier Road. The stations will be open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

All residents, especially those in low-lying areas, are encouraged to monitor the conditions that are developing.  Parents are encouraged to keep their children and pets away from watercourses and waterbodies.

Municipalities are encouraged to monitor water crossings and respond to high water levels.  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 (NBMCA).

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, May 13, 4:00pm.





Kurtis Romanchuk, Duty Officer, 705 474-5420
Sue Buckle, Supervisor Communications & Outreach, 705 474-5420 ext 2010