The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) released a bulletin this week reminding residents to keep safety in mind around water bodies and keep a close watch on conditions. With temperatures climbing this week, flows and water levels are expected to rise in the coming days, although flooding is not expected at this time.
As a preventative step, the MNRF says that residents may want to ensure their sump pumps are working properly and to secure or protect any property in flood-prone or vulnerable areas.
Residents and visitors should exercise caution while around water bodies and maintain close supervision of children and pets. The MNRF also advises extreme caution when using forest access roads for outdoor activities as many are seasonally inundated with water, prone to washouts and may be impassible due to current water levels.
Currently, water levels on water bodies with control structures are generally low due to drawdown efforts prior to the spring melt. Flows are normal for this time of year, but are anticipated to rise due to warm temperatures, rain and rapid snow melt. Current snow conditions in the Muskoka and Parry Sound region have an average of 30-60 cm of snow depth containing 120-200mm of snow water equivalent, which is above the typical average for this time of year.
Combined runoff from the rainfall and snowmelt might result in high water levels and localised flooding in low lying areas. Residents should be cautious as ice conditions on lakes and rivers may change rapidly as a result of rising flows and water levels.
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