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GRCA issues a Flood Watch for entire Grand River watershed

Local NewsGRCA issues a Flood Watch for entire Grand River watershed

The Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) is issuing the following Flood Watch message for the entire Grand River watershed due to the anticipated snowmelt and potential for ice movement associated with the incoming weather system this weekend. This message replaces the Watershed Conditions Statement previously in effect.

A low pressure system is expected to bring warm temperatures and light rain across the watershed on Sunday, March 6. The anticipated snowmelt will result in elevated river flows and some flooding in low-lying areas. This weather system has the potential to break-up ice remaining ice in local waterways and create a high risk of ice jams, however, there is a great deal of uncertainty associated with the extent and location of ice jam flooding.

  • Grand River watershed: Municipal Flood Coordinators in areas prone to ice jams, including Grand Valley, West Montrose, New Hamburg, Brantford and Dunnville should monitor conditions closely. An existing ice jam remains in place in Cayuga in Haldimand County.
  • Speed River (Cambridge): Municipal Flood Coordinators in the City of Cambridge are advised to monitor conditions along the Mill Run Trail under Highway 401 and Blackbridge Road and prepare to close if necessary. 

Conditions will be monitored closely, and updates will be issued as necessary. Municipal Flood Coordinators are advised to take any necessary actions to prepare for the possibility of flooding due to ice jams.

Most local waterways remain ice covered. Significant flooding due to rainfall is not anticipated with this event, however, the potential for flooding due to ice jams remains wherever ice is present in the river system. Further, residents are encouraged to familiarize themselves with local municipal flood response programs and are prepared for flooding due to the elevated risk with this event. 

Ice on local waterbodies is expected to be significantly weakened during this event, resulting in extremely unsafe ice conditions. The public is asked to stay off all water bodies due to unsafe conditions. Accessing frozen natural water bodies puts both the public and municipal first responders at risk. Anyone who falls through the ice could experience hypothermia and death within minutes.  

GRCA reservoirs

GRCA reservoirs are at their normal operating level for this time of year and conditions are being monitored closely. The GRCA’s major dams are being operated to manage downstream flooding and reduce frazil ice generation where possible in an effort to help decrease the potential for ice jams downstream.

Stay safe

Banks adjacent to local waterways are very slippery and, when combined with cold, fast-moving water, pose a serious hazard. Parents are encouraged to keep children and pets away from all water bodies. 

This message will remain in effect until 4:30pm on Monday, March 7th, 2022 and will be updated if necessary. 

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