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Flood warning dropped in Grand Valley, but river flows still pose danger

Sunday, March 14th 2021, 10:33 am - Public still urged to 'exercise extreme caution' around all bodies of water in Grand Valley.

Warming temperatures, melting snowpack and a rare winter thunderstorm, with locally heavy rain, were all enough to set off a Flood Warning/Flood Watch message by the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) last week. That was in anticipation of the runoff and potential for ice movement, but the warning has been dropped and replaced with a Watershed Conditions Statement on water safety.

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In the statement, the conservation authority says river flows are beginning to recede across the Grand River watershed, but will remain high through the next week. A risk of ice jams remains in place for northern portion of the watershed in areas where ice still exists.


GRCA’s major reservoirs at Belwood, Conestogo, Guelph, Luther, Woolwich, Laurel, and Shade’s Mills were used extensively to store runoff from this event and help reduce flooding in communities downstream of these reservoirs.

Flows downstream of these reservoirs will remain elevated while reservoirs return to normal operating levels for this time of year.

Grand River flooding Mark Robinson Rising water levels over Grand Valley. Courtesy: Mark Robinson

Residents are still being urged to remain vigilant around all bodies of water, with many of the previously frozen spots weakening after the recent warm weather.

"The public is reminded to exercise extreme caution around all water bodies. Banks adjacent to rivers and creeks are very slippery at this time and, when combined with cold, fast moving water, pose a serious hazard. Parents are encouraged to keep their children and pets off frozen water bodies, which will be weakened as a result of the warming trend," the GRCA warns.

The Watershed Conditions Statement is expected to remain in effect until 4:30 p.m. on Monday, March 22.

Grand Valley melt Mark Robinson Significant snow melt contributes to rising water levels in Grand River watershed. Courtesy: Mark Robinson

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