Slippery Riverbanks And Very Cold Water

Thames River in Chatham. December 16, 2016. (Photo by Matt Weverink)

With both melting and freezing temperatures in the short-term forecast, officials with the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority (LTVCA) are reminding residents to be especially careful around area waterways.

Water Management Supervisor Jason Wintermute with the Lower Thames Conservation Authority.

“You know, as things melt, the snow turns into water and it runs toward the river,” says Wintermute. “That’s going to make the areas next to the river wet and when they re-freeze they’re going to be very slippery.”

Thames River in Chatham. December 16, 2016. (Photo by Matt Weverink)

Thames River in Chatham. December 16, 2016. (Photo by Matt Weverink)

Wintermute says as the snow melts and the river grows, any ice that had already formed on the water will become weaker, too.

“Anytime when we have a warm-up and a melt, that’s something to be very careful of,” says Wintermute. “The river’s very cold at this time of the year and if someone falls in there’s an increased risk of hypothermia.”

Environment Canada is expecting the high for Saturday to reach above the freezing mark, but only for a few hours before it dips back down again.