Flooding safety bulletin for Thames River

Lower Thames Conservation AuthorityThe Thames River watershed received between 1 and 6 mm of rainfall yesterday and overnight instead of the predicted 10 to 15 mm. However, an additional 5 to 10 mm of rainfall is predicted for late Friday. Daytime high temperatures for the next two days are expected to be around 2 to 5 ˚C and then to drop below freezing until Wednesday of next week.

The Thames River is expected to rise with the rainfall and associated snowmelt. The ice cover on the Thames River has degraded significantly over the last few days. There are already open patches forming in the ice due to melting. The weakened ice, together with the increase in flows, may initiate the breakup of ice cover on the river in the next few days. At this time, flows are not expected to get high enough to present a significant risk of ice jam related flooding.

The predicted rainfall and associated snowmelt may cause some flooding of the low lying areas adjacent to the Thames River from Delaware to Chatham starting Saturday. Localized flooding continues to be a possibility on the region’s smaller watercourses. Many roadside and agricultural ditches are still filled with snow and ice making it difficult for the water to drain off the landscape.

People should take extra caution and avoid the river, lakes, ditches, streams, and ponds. Ice conditions are poor and a combination of slippery banks, moving/melting ice and cold water is particularly dangerous. Parents should pay special attention to keep their children away from the water.

The Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority will continue to monitor conditions and will issue additional messages as required.