Current Watershed Conditions
 Flood Outlook Statement
Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority (SSMRCA)
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Current Watershed Conditions

 

Rivers and Streams - Flood Outlook Statement

 

Date: October 10, 2019

Time: 12:30 pm

This statement is in effect until (or updated before) October 18, 2019

 

The Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority (SSMRCA) would like to issue a watershed conditions statement to residents in regard to current watershed conditions. Flood forecasting and warning is part of the Conservation Authority’s provincially mandated responsibilities. This statement is sent out so that residents can be informed and aware.

A Flood Outlook Statement is early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt high wind or other conditions that could lead to high runoff, cause ice jams, lakeshore flooding or erosion.

An intensifying low-pressure system from the US Prairie Region will move into the province bringing significant amounts of precipitation to the Sault Ste Marie area on Friday. Forecasted rainfall is 20 to 40 mm on Friday to areas north and east of Lake Superior and the Far North. Saturday 10 to 20 mm is forecasted to areas north of Lake Superior. Sunday could see an additional 10 mm of rainfall to areas east of Lake Superior. A cumulative 5-day total rainfall in the region could range from 50 to 80 mm due to this system.

Currently, local rivers, creeks and streams are flowing at normal levels. Forecasted rainfall will cause levels and flows to rise across the watershed. There may be localized flooding in areas with poor drainage. SSMRCA is encouraging local residents, specifically ones in low-lying areas and along shorelines, to monitor conditions and prepare accordingly. Flooding can be expected in vulnerable high-water locations in the region. Stream flows could be high over the long weekend and into next week due to the widespread rainfall associated with this system.

The flood control channels owned and maintained by the Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority are currently flowing at normal levels. The flood control channels will experience a rise in water levels. It is important to remember that the water in rivers, streams and the channels will be fast flowing. The Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority will continue to closely monitor levels and flows across the watershed.

The Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority would like to extend a warning to residents and visitors to use extreme caution when close to rivers, streams and shorelines. High water levels, flows, and waves can be especially dangerous and stream banks can be slippery. Please keep children and pets away from fast flowing rivers and streams.

 

Lake Superior Shoreline - Updated - Flood Outlook Statement

Date: October 3, 2019

Time: 1:00 pm

This statement is in effect until (or updated before) October 25, 2019

 

The Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority (SSMRCA) is advising that Lake Superior water levels continue to be above normal. There are observations, reports, or expectations of shoreline flooding or erosion at this time, localized flooding of low-lying areas may be possible.

Flood forecasting and warning is part of the Conservation Authority’s provincially mandated responsibilities. This statement is sent out so that residents can be informed and aware.

A Flood Outlook Statement is early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts call for heavy rain, snowmelt high wind or other conditions that could lead to high runoff, cause ice jams, lakeshore flooding or erosion.

According to The National Hydrological Services Great Lakes Water Levels Information, water supplies to all the Great Lakes were above average in September and water levels of all the Great Lakes remain well above average. Lake Superior has the potential to reach or exceed record highs in October should wet conditions continue. Peak Lake Superior water levels with the forecasted wind may be expected to cause shoreline flooding hazards, localized flooding/erosion to occur in low-lying sections of waterfronts.

Shoreline flooding and/or erosion are possible in the coming weeks if substantial storm surge and wave action occurs. Strong shore-bound winds occurring from the north or west would pose the primary concern.

SSMRCA wishes to remind residents to exercise caution near lakefront areas during this time, as high water levels and/or wave action may pose significant erosion, flooding and public safety hazards. 

Currently, Lake Superior water level is approximately 183.9 m IGLD85. The monthly mean water level of Lake Superior was 30 cm above its period‐of‐record (1918‐2018) average, 18 cm higher than last year’s level and just 2 cm below the record high set in 1950. For additional reference, the SSMRCA shoreline flooding hazard level used for planning and development review is 184.2 m. 

SSMRCA staff continue to monitor Lake Superior wind conditions and lake levels closely.

 

For further information contact:
Anjum Amin, P.Eng.
705-946-8530 ext.# 1003