Upper Thames conservation authority says streams and rivers still hazardous, more rain to come

A portion of the Thames River near Labatt Park. Jaime McKee/980 CFPL

The Upper Thames River Conservation Authority (UTRCA) is urging residents to take extra caution near bodies of water as water levels are still hazardous following last week’s rain and a special weather statement is in effect for the area.

Environment Canada issued a special weather statement on Monday, warning localized flooding in low-lying levels was possible due to heavy rainfall expected overnight. The statement was lifted Tuesday morning.

The conservation authority says while water levels in streams and rivers across the upper Thames River watershed are slowly receding, they are still at a hazardous level for people to be nearby.

“Slippery banks and cold, fast-moving water pose a serious hazard. Standing water can also present unseen dangers,” reads part of the release from UTRCA.

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According to the conservation authority, possible thunderstorms Wednesday could add to the potential rainfall totals. Due to the rainfall, the UTRCA expects water levels in streams and rivers to rise again to levels seen over the weekend.

As the water levels are elevated and expected to rise again, UTRCA advises it is not safe to take shelter or allow children and pets near riverbanks or in low-lying lands prone to flooding.

Flood control reservoirs at Fanshawe, Wildwood and Pittock conservation areas were used over the weekend to store runoff to reduce downstream flooding temporarily. The UTRCA says the reservoirs will continue to operate to minimize downstream flooding over the coming week.

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