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

Rivers & Streams - Water Safety Statement

Date: December 29, 2022

Time: 1:00 p.m. 

This statement is in effect until (or updated before) January 5, 2023.

 

The Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority is issuing a Water Safety Statement for area residents regarding current watershed conditions. Flood forecasting and warning are part of the Conservation Authority’s provincially mandated responsibilities. This statement is sent out so that residents can be informed and aware.

The weather forecast indicates Daytime temperatures for Thursday, December 29th to Sunday, January 1st are expected to be 0°C to +5°C with overnight temperatures remaining below freezing. A light rain (1-5 mm) is expected for the area watershed. Areas within our watershed containing deeper snow accumulations will absorb the majority of the forecasted precipitation and will be retained within the snowpack.

Currently, local rivers, creeks, and streams are flowing at normal levels. Forecasted daytime highs and precipitation could elevate flows and levels across the watershed. No major flooding is expected at this time. However, some watercourses may reach or exceed their banks, leading to localized flooding in floodplains, low lying areas, and areas with poor drainage.

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 cold and fast flowing during and after the rainfall event.

The Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority will continue to closely monitor stream flows across the watershed and updates will be provided as required.

Residents and visitors are urged to stay away from the flood control channels and all waterways. Flows can be especially dangerous and stream banks can be slippery. Please keep children and pets away from waterways during this time.

 

Lake Superior Shoreline - Flood Watch

  

Date: December 21, 2022

Time: 3:30 p.m.

The Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority (SSMRCA) is issuing a Lake Superior Flood Watch. Flood forecasting and warning are part of the Conservation Authority’s provincially mandated responsibilities. This statement is sent out so that residents can be informed and aware.

Lake Superior water levels continue to decline but are still well above average and the risk of high-water impacts remains. Lake Superior outflows continue to be set in consideration of high levels upstream and downstream.

A very intense, slow-moving Colorado low will enter Ontario on Thursday, impacting the whole province. The system is expected to bring up to 20 mm of rain and rain/snow showers on Thursday and early Friday before transitioning to snow for the rest of the weekend. A strong cold front will sweep through the province on Friday, bringing strong to damaging southwesterly winds. Sustained winds of 40-50 km/hr can be expected. Gusts to up 90 km/h, reaching as high as 110 km/h, are possible.

Intense winds are expected to continue through Saturday becoming lighter on Sunday, as the system makes its way through the province.

Forecast winds across the Great Lakes will result in increased water levels due to storm surge and wave heights that can potentially exceed local flood thresholds. Shoreline areas of the western part of Lake Superior are expected to be some of the most impacted.

Current lake conditions will potentially make a substantial impact on the shorelines. Shoreline flooding, wave uprush, and increased erosion across the forecast area may be expected.

SSMRCA advises all shoreline property owners to prepare for potentially severe coastal impacts such as significant erosion, lakeshore flooding, coastal damages, beach submersion, crawl space, and septic system inundation, especially during periods of strong winds and high waves. 

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

For further information: 

Anjum Amin, P.Eng. 
SSMRCA 
aamin@ssmrca.ca
705-946-8530