(May 24, 2019 – 4 pm)   Water levels on Lake Nipissing are rising again from yesterday’s rainfall and are expected to continue to rise. The Ottawa River at Mattawa has resumed its slight downward trend following a rise in response to recent rainfall.  Several weather systems are moving into the area over the next five days, prompting the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority to extend its Flood Warning to May 29.

Approximately 13mm of precipitation is forecasted for tomorrow (Saturday) in the North Bay-Mattawa area, and there are two systems moving through the area early next week, although currently only minor precipitation is forecasted in the North Bay-Mattawa area from those systems.

Lake Nipissing

Lake Nipissing is currently at elevation 196.54m (metres above sea level) near North Bay, rising about 2cm in the last 24 hours, the most significant rise in several days.  During the rise it had spiked up to 196.59 Thursday night due to high westerly winds with gusts of up to 60km. 

“Lake Nipissing continues to respond to the received rainfall, and recent strong west winds have driven up water levels on the east side of the lake, affecting the shoreline in North Bay and Callander.  This may also 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,” said Kurtis Romanchuk, NBMCA Duty Officer.

There is a strong potential that Lake Nipissing may exceed 196.59m over the next week, and the outflow at the French River Dams is being reassessed on a continuous basis to manage the inflow and 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 155.21m (metres above sea level). The water level has resumed its slight downward trend, following the rise in response to the rainfall last week.

Substantial flow continues to be passed from Lake Temiskaming, however Lake Temiskaming is now beginning to trend down, which will result in a reduction of flows downstream including the Town of Mattawa. Otto Holden dam continues to pass through the flow it receives from the Temiskaming dam. 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 water level for the Ottawa River at the Town of Mattawa is 155.50m, forecasted to occur today, which is approximately 29cm (12 inches) above its current level, but the forecast is expected to move into the future.  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):


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

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) Wednesday, May 22, 4:00pm.





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

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.