(North Bay May 29, 2019 – 1 pm)   Water levels on Lake Nipissing remain very high, affecting the lower reaches of the La Vase River, Parks Creek, and Jessups Creek, and the Ottawa River remains high at Mattawa.  Chippewa Creek, the La Vase River, and the Wasi River remain above average for this time of year, possibly being affected by high water levels on Lake Nipissing, prompting the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority to extend its Flood Warning to June 3, 2019.

Currently there is no precipitation forecasted for the North Bay-Mattawa area over the next five days.  Highs will be around 13-18 degrees Celsius, with lows around 3-8 degrees Celsius.  A strong southwest wind is forecast for today (Wednesday), with gusts 30km/h or more, and continuing westerly winds on Thursday and Friday.

Lake Nipissing

Lake Nipissing is currently at elevation 196.58m (metres above sea level) near North Bay, rising about 2cm in the last 24 hours, most likely due to winds shifting from the east to west. 

“Lake Nipissing continues to remain very vulnerable to wind and rain effects, and the current west winds may drive up water levels on the east side of Lake Nipissing including the City of North Bay and the Municipality of Callander,” said Kurtis Romanchuk, NBMCA Duty Officer. “This may pose a threat to properties along the Lake Nipissing and Callander Bay shoreline, as well as along the lower La Vase River and Jessups Creek,” added NBMCA Duty Officer.

There is a strong potential that Lake Nipissing may exceed elevation 196.59m over the next week, and the outflow from the French River Dams is being reassessed on a continuous basis to balance flooding on Lake Nipissing and the French River. Further increases to flows through the dams will be based on daily analysis of the current status of the lake and river and as agreed to by the Sturgeon-Nipissing-French-Wanapitei Water Management Group.

NBMCA has been operating the Parks Creek Backflood Control Structure on Red Alert and pumping since May 2, to help mitigate flooding and sewer back-up for 350 homes in the Parks Creek neighbourhood.  The pumps will remain in operation until Lake Nipissing’s water levels return to normal levels.

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/

Sand and sandbags are available to residents for the purpose of protecting their properties at Public Works on Franklin Street, but filling stations at Sunset Park at the end of Sunset Boulevard and Champlain Park at the end of Premier Road will no longer be operated. The City is prepared to ramp back up its resources at those sites if required.


The Ottawa River at Mattawa is currently at 154.73m (metres above sea level). The water level is currently rising slightly again in Mattawa, possibly due to adjustments at Otto Holden Dam, following several large reductions in upstream flow from Temiskaming Dam over the past few days. 

Despite today’s increase at Mattawa, flow from Temiskaming Dam is being continuously reduced, and the water level at Mattawa is expected to continue to trend down in the coming days.  A boating restriction is in effect for the Ottawa River and the Mattawa River downstream of the Hurdman Dam, and it is noted that safety booms have not yet been installed at the Hurdman Dam.

The current forecast for the Ottawa River states that water level at Mattawa peaked this year at 155.64m on May 11.  Information about the most current forecasted peak water levels for the Ottawa River may be found at the Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board website:


Information about the most current forecasted water levels for the Ottawa River may be found at the Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board website: http://www.ottawariver.ca/Forecast-2019.pdf 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

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.  Boat traffic on the Mattawa River is now restricted below the Hurdman Dam to protect the shoreline and properties from wave damage.

Cautions to Residents

Water levels within local watercourses and waterbodies remain high in some areas.  Water levels remain high near Lake Nipissing and the Ottawa River, and access to nearshore properties and roads may be restricted.

The Parks Creek Backflood Control Structure has been operating on Red Alert and pumping since May 2, to mitigate flooding in the Parks Creek neighbourhood.  Boat traffic is neither permitted nor possible through the structure while it is in operation.  Eva Wardlaw Conservation Area has been closed to the public.

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.

If your property is at risk of flooding, please contact your municipality.  If you live in an unincorporated township, please contact Graham Mewett at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry – North Bay District office at 705-475-5529.

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.  Updates are posted on the website www.nbmca.ca under Spring 2019 Flood Update link on the home page.

The general public is advised of these messages through the www.nbmca.on.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, June 3, 4:00pm.


CONTACT:   Kurtis Romanchuk, Duty Officer, 705 474-5420

Terminology: Notification Levels

WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT: general notices of potential flooding or other conditions that pose a safety risk. There are two kinds of statements:

Water Safety indicates that high flows, unsafe banks, melting ice or other factors could be dangerous for users such as anglers, boaters, swimmers, children or pets. Flooding is not expected.

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.

FLOOD WATCH notifies that the potential for flooding exists within specific watercourses and municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should prepare.

FLOOD WARNING: Flooding is imminent or already occurring in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities and individuals should take action to deal with flood conditions. This may include road closures and evacuations.