Water safety statement issued for Peterborough region

Rainfall overnight Thursday and milder temperatures this week have prompted conservation authorities to issue a water safety statement for the Peterborough region.

Otonabee Conservation issued the statement around 1 p.m. Friday, declaring watercourses and water bodies in its jurisdiction are experiencing high flows. The statement is in effect for Peterborough, Peterborough County and the townships of Selwyn, Douro-Dummer, Asphodel-Norwood, Otonabee-South Monaghan, Cavan Monaghan and sections of City of Kawartha Lakes and Trent Hills.

In Peterborough, city crews spent Friday sandbagging a section of George and Dalhousie streets due to high water levels and ice on Jackson Creek.

The conservation authority says five millimetres of rain fell overnight. Couple with an extended seven-day forecast of above 0 C air temperatures, the authority says to expect snowmelt and rain to cause higher than normal water levels and flows but no flooding.

“High water levels and flows will combine with weak ice cover, slippery banks and extremely cold water temperatures to make area water bodies and watercourses extremely dangerous,” the authority stated. “In addition, some roadside ditches, wetlands and other low-lying areas will experience ponding due to ice accumulations and frozen ground conditions that inhibit drainage.”

The authority advises people to avoid all edges of watercourses or to attempt to move through flowing water that is more than 10 centimetres.

The statement will remain in effect until March 18.

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