The Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) is issuing the following Flood Watch message for the entire Grand River watershed due to ice movement associated with the current weather event on Monday, March 7.
The low pressure system that brought warm temperatures and light rain across the Grand River watershed this past weekend resulted in elevated river flows and some minor flooding in low-lying areas due to snowmelt. Ice on local waterways has significantly weakened, increasing the potential for rapidly changing conditions and unexpected flooding due to ice jams.
Municipal Flood Coordinators in areas prone to ice jams, including Grand Valley, West Montrose, New Hamburg, Cayuga and Dunnville should continue to monitor conditions closely and take any necessary actions to prepare for the possibility of flooding.
Based on the current conditions, the potential for flooding due to ice jams remains wherever ice is present in the river system. Residents are encouraged to familiarize themselves with local municipal flood response programs and be prepared for flooding due to the elevated risk with this event.
Ice on local waterbodies has been significantly weakened, resulting in extremely unsafe conditions. The public is asked to stay off all water bodies. Accessing frozen 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 are at their normal operating level for this time of year and are being operated to manage downstream flooding where possible.
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 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 11, 2022 and will be updated if necessary.