Provincial flood watch issued as storms move into Ontario
Wednesday, February 19, 2014, 7:04 PM -
Ontario is in the path of intense storms, prompting the Ministry of Natural resources to issue flood statements across the province.
Southern portions of the province will likely see rain between Thursday and Friday, with some communities expecting more than 40 mm of rain.
Northern Ontario is expecting more snow but flood warnings remain in effect for the region due to the risk of mixed precipitation.
"Many areas are experiencing above-average snow pack conditions," the ministry writes in a statement.
"The forecast warm temperatures may result in melting of some of this accumulated snow pack. The combination of snow melt and rain could result in significant amounts of runoff and may cause flooding and/or drainage issues in low lying areas."
Conservation authorities say they're monitoring the watershed to prevent ice jams that would impede the flow of rivers. They say ice in some waterways could be frozen right down to the sandbars, making it difficult for ice break up and movement on the rivers.
Heavy snow on many roadways is also a concern as many drains are blocked by the snow.
Residents are advised to clear their catch basins and stay away from any fast-moving bodies of water.
The flood statement was prompted by two systems that are making their way into the region.
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"An Alberta Clipper will merge with a Colorado low to produce a strong system for the region Thursday into Friday," explains Weather Network meteorologist Doug Gillham.
"Thursday night into early Friday morning, all regions of southern Ontario will experience rain with the exception of areas from about North Bay to Ottawa Valley, where a longer period of freezing rain is possible with an area of snow directly to the north of that freezing rain line," adds Dayna Vettese, another meteorologist at The Weather Network.
"Non-severe thunderstorms are also possible Thursday night especially in southwestern Ontario. Rumbles of thunder are possible throughout southern Ontario as well."