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Heavy rainfall forecast prompts flood warning for Peterborough and Kawarthas

The Otonabee River at Lock 19 in Peterbrough. A flood warning issued for Thursday for the Peterborough and Kawarthas.
The Otonabee River at Lock 19 in Peterbrough. A flood warning issued for Thursday for the Peterborough and Kawarthas. Global Peterborough file

Heavy rainfall expected Thursday has prompted officials to issue a flood warning for the Peterborough area and the Kawarthas.

On Wednesday, the Otonabee Region Conservation Authority issued a flood warning for the Otonabee River, Rice Lake and the Kawartha Lakes (Buckhorn, Pigeon, Cameron, Lower Buckhorn, Lovesick, Stony, Clear and Katchewanooka).

READ MORE: Disaster recovery assistance program activated for flood-impacted Kawartha Lakes residents

Between 20 -30 mm of rainfall is expected Thursday, according to ORCA, which could lead to imminent flooding in its watershed jurisdiction.

ORCA says the Tri-Lakes (Buckhorn, Chemong and Pigeon) are dropping at a rate of approximately 5 cm per day. The other lakes are also dropping.

“Despite the forecast rainfall, the Kawartha Lakes are expected to continue dropping at a similar rate of decline through the next few days,” stated Gord Earle, ORCA’s forecasting and warning duty officer.

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Levels (metres above sea level) on some of the lakes reached or broke historic water levels.

  • Tri-Lakes: 246.82 in 1928; 246.4 on May 8
  • Lower Buckhorn: 244.01 in 1928; 243.0444 on May 8
  • Lovesick: 241.86 in 1976; 241.53 on May 8
  • Stony/Clear: 235.58 in 1913; 234.752 on May 8
  • Katchiwanooka: 233.38 in 1960; 232.4 on May 8

ORCA noted the Otonabee River flow at Lakefield is currently 300 cubic meters per second and is expected to drop about 270 cms over the next 24 hours. There will be a corresponding reduction in water levels along the river from Lakefield to Lock 19 in Peterborough.

READ MORE: State of emergency lifted in Minden Hills as Gull River water levels slowly recede

The water level of Rice Lake also peaked on Sunday at 186.23 meters above sea level. The lake was stable on Monday and dropped 2 centimetres per day between Monday and Wednesday and should continue to drop.

The flood warning remains in effect until Friday.

WATCH: Residents of flooded West Island trailer park waiting for green light to go home

Residents of flooded West Island trailer park waiting for green light to go home
Residents of flooded West Island trailer park waiting for green light to go home