Winter storm prompts flood watch extension for Trent-Severn Waterway in Peterborough area

A flood watch has been extended for the Peterbrough area, over concerns of possible formation and accumulation of frazil ice. Global News file

Otonabee Conservation says this week’s forecasted winter storm has prompted a continuation of a flood watch for the Trent-Severn Waterway in Peterborough, Ont., and the surrounding area.

A flood watch has been in effect for the past two weeks. The Peterborough-based conservation authority says a strong low-pressure system Wednesday will bring winds, cold air temperatures and significant snowfall. Environment Canada has forecasted up to 20 centimetres of snowfall for southern Ontario.

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Gordon Earle, flood forecasting and warning duty officer, says the storm, along with expected continued cold air temperatures (with wind chills into double-digits below freezing) through to the end of January and into early February, could lead to the creation and accelerate the formation of frazil ice.

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“Double-digit lows will combine with falling snow, the current above-average river/stream flows, and open river/stream channels to increase the generation of frazil ice on the Otonabee River and some of the smaller local watercourses such as Jackson Creek,” stated Earle.

“Multiple days of frazil ice generation increases the possibility of frazil ice accumulation causing channel constriction and the back-up of water behind the accumulation/constriction, leading to flooding of adjacent low-lying areas.”

The conservation authority’s jurisdiction includes Peterborough, sections of the City of Kawartha Lakes and the townships of Asphodel-Norwood, Cavan Monaghan, Douro-Dummer, Otonabee-South Monaghan and Selwyn as well as the Municipality of Trent Hills.

The conservation authority is advising residents in low-lying or flood-prone areas to monitor for frazil ice generation, accumulation and rising water levels and to prepare for potential flooding.

All residents are advised to stay safe by staying away from lakes, rivers, streams, creeks, wetlands, ditches, culverts and water control structures.

The flood watch will remain in effect until Feb. 2.

Area water level information can be monitored online at:

Click to play video: 'Major winter storm set to hit southern Ontario'
Major winter storm set to hit southern Ontario

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