In true Irish fashion, rain is in the forecast for the London, Ont., region this St. Patrick’s Day, prompting the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority (UTRCA) to issue a warning to stay clear of riverbanks.
The conservation authority estimates that the storm, which began late Thursday and is set to continue into Friday afternoon, could bring upwards of 25 millimetres of rain to the region in combination with warmer air, causing leftover snow to melt.
“The UTRCA expects water levels to be elevated starting on Friday, and remaining high over the weekend,” read the advisory. “Serious flooding is not anticipated at this time. The snowpack will likely be reduced, but will not disappear.”
A watershed-wide snow survey conducted Wednesday by UTRCA measured an average of 70 mm of water in London and Woodstock, and 100 mm north of Stratford.
The conservation authority is advising all residents, especially children outside during the final days of March break, to use extreme caution around watercourses.
Dog owners are also advised to not bring their pets along riverbanks.
“Stream banks can be slippery and unstable, and the water is extremely cold, fast-moving, and higher than normal,” the advisory continued. “Any ice cover will be weakened and unstable.
“As water levels rise, it is not safe to take shelter along riverbanks or in low lying areas that are prone to flooding.”