Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority

Flood Watch Bulletin

Flood Watch issued for Port Franks area and Grand Bend

issued  Friday, January 12, 2018

Flood Watch issued for Port Franks area and Grand Bend

A Flood Watch flood message was issued at Friday, January 12, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. for the Port Franks and Grand Bend areas.

Monitoring of river ice conditions on the Ausable River indicates that river ice has broken up in many areas, resulting in the formation of ice jams. These jams are expected to move downstream through the day today (January 12, 2018) and into the weekend as stream flows continue to increase.  

As ice jams move downstream, rapidly-increasing water levels may develop behind the jam. The unpredictable nature of ice jams makes it difficult to predict where and when they will form. Ice jam potential is highest along the Ausable River between Bog Line and the river mouth at Port Franks. In addition to flooding impacts, structures located in, or adjacent to, the water are vulnerable to damage from moving ice.

With freezing temperatures and no rain in the forecast, it is expected that stream flows in the Ausable River will peak on Saturday. As waters begin to recede later in the weekend, the risk of ice jamming will decrease.  

In addition to Port Franks, there is a slight chance for ice jamming in the Village of Grand Bend, due to high flows in the Parkhill Creek. The Parkhill Dam reservoir currently has flood storage capacity and is reducing peak river flows downstream of Parkhill; however, high flows will make ice more prone to breakup and movement.

Municipal staff should monitor the situation and take action as required.

Residents are reminded that, due to warmer temperatures and accompanying rainfall, all ice should be considered unsafe. In addition, please use caution near all watercourses. Slippery and unstable streambanks, streambanks hidden by drifted snow, and extremely cold water temperatures will create additional hazards.

This message will remain in effect until 10:00 a.m. Monday, January 15, 2018, unless otherwise updated. The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) will continue to monitor watershed conditions and will provide an update if required.

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