The Long Point Region Conservation Authority has issued a flood watch warning for the urban areas of Port Burwell and Vienna, adjacent to Otter Creek.
A flood watch is issued to advise flooding is possible in specific watercourses or municipalities. Under this condition, municipal flood coordinators, emergency services and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should prepare.
The watch is being issued in those two areas as a result of current ice conditions along the Big Otter Creek. Thick surface ice has formed throughout the winter creating an increased potential for ice jams to develop during the spring melt. Ice jams typically occur very quickly with little warning, resulting in backwater flooding.
Beyond these site-specific warnings, a broader, general Watershed Conditions Statement: Water Safety has been issued for all areas within the watershed. The level of statement advises municipal flood coordinators and watershed residents that unsafe lake, river and channel conditions may develop or exist.
As a result of precipitation, warm temperatures and melting snow pack, residents can expect minor and nuisance flooding in low-lying areas. People are warned to stay away from ditches, streams, rivers and ponds as the combination of slippery banks and cold, fast-flowing water is dangerous. Parents are reminded to keep children away from these areas.
Landowners are also advised to make sure dams, culverts and catchbasins are free from debris and functioning properly.
These messages are in effect until noon, Tuesday, March 25. Water levels are expected to remain high throughout next week and LPRCA staff will continue to monitor watershed conditions and provide updates.