MVCA says the Bay area of concern next four days

By Jake Davies - West Carleton Online

WEST CARLETON – The Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority is calling Constance Bay and area of concern in its latest spring freshet update.

“Based on the most recent model outputs from the Ottawa River Regulation Committee (ORRC) and rainfall in the forecast, water levels in the Constance Bay area are projected to rise an additional 0.50 metres to 0.60 m above the current elevation of 59.83 m over the next four days,” the MVCA released in a statement this afternoon (April 23). “Levels are currently forecast to be very close to those experienced at the height of the May 2017 flood. Updates to this projection will be provided as they become available.”

The latest Ottawa River update states those in flood-prone areas are still at risk as the daily predictions now expect the river to peak at May 2017 levels.

“The MVCA in conjunction with the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) and South Nation Conservation Authority (SNC) is maintaining our Flood Warning issued on April 19, for the areas under our jurisdiction along the Ottawa River,” the MVCA released in a statement this afternoon (April 23). “Significant rainfall has fallen over the Ottawa River basin since Thursday (April 18).”

Temperatures in West Carleton were warmer than forecasted on Sunday and Monday. More rain in the amounts of 15 to 50 millimetres is expected today (April 23) and tomorrow in northern and central areas of the Ottawa River basin.

“Saturated soils, warm temperatures and precipitation received continues to increase snowmelt in the Ottawa River basin. Some snowpack remains in the western and northern areas of the basin,” the MVCA said. “All flood-prone areas along the Ottawa River from Lac Coulonge down to the Montreal Archipelago are at risk. Peak water levels across some areas of the Ottawa River are expected to be similar to those experienced in May 2017. Levels will remain high for several days and will increase later this week due to forecasted precipitation and snowmelt runoff. Reservoirs throughout the basin are being used to store runoff and minimize flooding.”

The MVCA says because of the forecast uncertainty it is difficult to accurately predict how quickly water levels will rise and when river conditions may peak.

“Residents in flood-prone areas are encouraged to closely follow evolving conditions and to take necessary measures,” the MVCA said. “Residents are advised to stay away from watercourses where flows are high and where banks might be unstable. Parents are encouraged to explain dangers to children.”

The Flood Warning is in effect until Thursday, April 25.