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Rising temperatures in southern Ontario increase risk of ice melt and flooding


Andrea Bagley
Digital Reporter

Monday, February 17, 2014, 10:06 AM -

After record breaking lows and the risk for more snow Family Day, parts of southern Ontario can expect a nice warm up this week. 

"Temperatures should be much closer to seasonal values, which means relatively speaking, it is going to feel a lot milder throughout most of the week," says Monica Vaswani, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.


SEE ALSO: Family Day storm could bring more snow, dangerous travel


Great news for a region that has been dealing with frigid temperatures for much of the winter.

The bad news?

Rising temperatures could result in possible flooding in the coming weeks.

Officials in southwestern Ontario's Essex County say they're monitoring the watershed to prevent ice jams that would impede the flow of rivers.

Authorities 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.

SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL?

Conservation authorities say despite all of the heavy snow this winter, that doesn't necessarily guarantee a significant spring flood.

That will depend more on when the wet and warmer weather moves in and how quickly the ice and snow may melt.

According to the Grand River Conservation Authority, dam operators have already started to release extra water from reservoirs upstream to make room for heavy rains or a fast snow melt this spring.

With files from The Canadian Press

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