Saugeen Conservation issues flood outlook statement with heavy rain expected in Midwestern Ontario

Saugeen River in Hanover during winter. ( stock photo by Kirk Scott)

Heavy rain moving into Midwestern Ontario has prompted Saugeen Conservation to issue a flood outlook statement. The statement warns forecast precipitation, warm temperatures, and associated snowmelt will result in elevated water levels across the watershed, with the potential for flooding in low-lying areas.

While significant flooding is not expected, watercourses could reach or exceed bank-full conditions leading minor flooding in low-lying areas. And if we get higher rainfall amounts than predicted, more extensive flooding is possible.

Day-time temperatures will reach up to 9°C in parts of the region, and that will be accompanied by 15 to 25 mm of rain between Thursday evening and Friday. Then the accelerate melting of the remaining snowpack, will lead to a rapid run-off into watercourses. Snow surveys conducted Wednesday March 15, 2023 revealed on average 40mm of water held in the snowpack.

People should avoid all watercourses and structures such as bridges, culverts, and dams as the high water levels, fast flowing water, and slippery conditions along watercourse banks are extremely
dangerous.  As well, any remaining ice on our watercourses, during or following this event, will be unsafe to be on.

Saugeen Conservation staff will be closely monitoring the situation and will provide an update if conditions change.