Flood warning issued for Peterborough region

A flood warning has been issued for the Peterborough area.

The Otonabee Region Conservation Authority issued the warning on Friday morning, stating flooding is “imminent or occurring.”

ORCA says that throughout its geographical jurisdiction, the ground remains saturated and/or frozen and incapable of absorbing additional rainfall. Between 50 and 70 millimetres of precipitation is expected over the next week, with a forecast of 40 millimetres of rain expected on Sunday.

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“Significant pooling/ponding in low-lying areas is expected,” said Gordon Earle, ORCA’s flood forecasting and warning duty officer.

Areas of concern include the Indian and Ouse rivers as well as Baxter, Cavan, Jackson, Meade, Ray’s and Squirrel creeks, Earle says, adding that streams already flowing at above-normal rates could also pose a flood risk.

“They will continue to experience high flows and will possibly even exceed their banks in some areas,” he said. “Wetlands are also expected to swell beyond their normal confines, thereby flooding adjacent roads.”

ORCA says snowmelt north in the Haliburton Lakes and reservoir lakes has caused a “gentle increase” in inflows to the Kawartha Lakes. Outflows from the Kawartha Lakes through the Otonabee River have also increased.

ORCA says Friday’s recorded flow of the Otonabee in Lakefield is 235 cubic metres per second (cms); an average spring flow is 300 cms.

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The authority says expected rising inflows from the Gull, Burnt and Mississauga rivers in the Kawarthas mean water levels will rise on the Otonabee River and south at Rice Lake.

“Low-lying, flood-prone areas can expect water levels to hold more or less steady for the time being,” Earle said. “But water levels/flows will increase in the near future, especially as a result of (the) increased rate of snowmelt coupled with rains on Sunday.”

The flood warning remains in effect until Tuesday.

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