March 14, 2019 9:02 am

Rainfall, melting snow and ice could lead to possible flooding in Toronto

The Canadian insurance industry says floods have surpassed fires as the top source of insurance claims across the country. And as Ross Lord reports, there are fears many Canadians are unprepared for the worst.

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Toronto residents are being warned to keep a safe distance from streams and waterways due to a combination of warm weather, melting snow and ice, and rainfall on Thursday.

Environment Canada has forecasted between 10 and 20 millimetres of rain to fall in the city beginning Thursday afternoon before tapering off early Friday.

The daytime high is expected to reach 10 C on Thursday with an evening low of 7 C, resulting in additional runoff from melting snow.

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A watershed conditions statement has been issued by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA). The advisory will be in effect until Saturday.

Conservation officials say many rivers and streams in the Greater Toronto Area have full ice cover and the rise in water levels from the rainfall and snowmelt could result in a break-up of the ice.

“All rivers within the GTA may experience higher flows and water levels, resulting in potential flooding and hazardous conditions, especially behind bridges and culverts where ice jams are present. Ponding may occur in low-lying areas,” TRCA said in its advisory.

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“The combination of slippery and unstable banks could create hazardous conditions close to any river, stream or other water body.”

Residents are being told that all shorelines, rivers and streams within the GTA should be considered hazardous.

Localized flooding may also occur near culverts, bridge piers and meanders.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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