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Ontario flood warnings continue, Napanee River approaches highest level in 38 years


April 16, 2014   by Canadian Underwriter


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Several flood warnings were issued Tuesday in Ontario, with one conservation authority warning that water levels on a lake in the Municipality of Tweed is “approaching historic flood levels” and another warning that the lakes on the Rideau Canal between Kingston and Ottawa are rising by four centimetres per day.

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources announced Tuesday that rivers in several areas are running high due to rainfall and snow melt, with some “reaching or above flood level.”

Quinte Conservation, whose area of responsibility includes the drainage basins of the Moira, Napanee and Salmon rivers, warned that as of Tuesday afternoon, the water level on Stoco Lake is “rising and approaching historic flood levels.” Tweed, the community beside Stoco Lake, is about 230 kilometres northeast of Toronto.

The City of Belleville, on Lake Ontario 40 kilometres south of Tweed, is currently in a state of emergency.

“The Napanee River is rising again and is approaching the highest levels since the 1976 record,” Quinte Conservation stated of a watercourse between Belleville and Kingston.

“Water levels in the Foxboro and Corbyville area of the City of Belleville are expected to rise at least several more centimetres above the current water levels in response to the rain,” Quinte Conservation said Tuesday. “Water levels will remain high throughout the week.”

Further east, the  Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority (CRCA) warned that the lakes on the Rideau Canal, between Kingston and Ottawa, “continue to rise by an average of 4 cm per day as a result of 22.4 mm of rainfall” between Monday and Tuesday.

“This rate of increase is expected to continue for 2-3 days,” stated the CRCA, whose areas of responsibility includes ten watersheds or drainage basins between the Bay of Quinte and Brockville. “Water levels on Gananoque Lake and the lower Gananoque River (below Marble Rock Dam) are extremely high, and are continuing to rise as water moves through the system. Flooding of infrastructure (roads and houses) along these areas is imminent or currently occurring.”

CRCA advised residents in some areas roughly 40 kilometres north of Kingston – Newboro Lake, Opinicon Lake, Sand Lake and Cranberry Lake, and the reach between Upper and Lower Brewers – to “take steps to protect their property from rising levels.”

Other areas — including Barrie, North Bay, Orillia, Bancroft, Muskoka, Petawawa and Ottawa — have received about 30 to 50 mm of precipitation in two days, the Ministry of Natural Resources stated.

“Currently, areas east of Belleville are receiving the tail end of the rainfall and the forecast calls for 10-15mm of rain in that area by the time it moves out of the Province,” MNR stated Tuesday.

North of Toronto, the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority was also warning of floods in low-lying areas between Canal Lake and Lake Simcoe, due to high water flows in the Trent-Severn Waterway and Talbot River systems. The agency also warned of floods in low-lying areas beside Lake Simcoe.

“There are a significant number of stream gauges currently above the flood critical level and many more that are approaching the flood critical level,” the Ministry of Natural Resources said. “Areas from Owen Sound, east to Barrie and Orillia, and then in a wide sweeping area east to Ottawa, North to Sudbury and South to Lake Ontario are currently experiencing high streamflows, and many have reported minor flooding.”

Quinte Conservation warned the Moira River at Highway 7 is still rising, as is the Salmon River at Tamworth. Other water bodies in the Qunite Conservation area that were still rising Tuesday included Depot Creek and the Skootamatta and Black Rivers.

Photos above: Brian Wilson, Twitter: @BRWplumbing