Flood watch issued over potential frazil ice on Otonabee River, Jackson Creek in Peterborough area

A flood watch has been issued for the Otonabee River has there is a concern of frazil ice forming. Global News file

A flood watch has been issued for Peterborough and area focusing on the Otonabee River and Jackson Creek.

According to the Otonabee Region Conservation Authority, there is an increased risk of frazil ice (slush) on both bodies of water due to extreme cold weather forecasted for the region.

ORCA says the lack of solid ice cover, turbulent flows and exposure of water to extreme cold air temperatures will combine to increase the risk of frazil ice.

Read more: Extreme cold warning issued for Peterborough, City of Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland County

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“The formation of frazil ice is traditionally observed in these watercourses, which causes flooding concerns,” ORCA stated Friday afternoon.

“As frazil ice flows downstream it will eventually come to rest against obstructions (such as islands, bridge piers and abutments), in low-velocity areas (bends and slope reductions) or in areas of channel constrictions. Where it comes to rest, it will accumulate. Frazil ice may also anchor itself to the bottom of a watercourse and accumulate. Where frazil ice accumulates, it is likely to cause a restriction of water flow downstream, thereby resulting in a rise of water, and possibly flooding, behind the frazil ice jam.”

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Residents in low-lying areas along the shores of the Otonabee River and Jackson Creek are strongly encouraged to keep a close watch for frazil ice generation, accumulation and jamming.

Water levels can be monitored on-line at:

The flood watch will remain in effect until Monday for Peterborough, City of Kawartha Lakes, Municipality of Trent Hills and the townships of Selwyn, Douro-Dummer, Asphodel-Norwood, Otonabee-South Monaghan and Cavan Monaghan.

Click to play video: 'Peterborough Regional Weather Update: January 29, 2021'
Peterborough Regional Weather Update: January 29, 2021

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