Flood watch is­sued

Wanapitei River wa­ter­shed at rsik

The Sudbury Star - - LOCAL - BEN LEESON

Con­ser­va­tion Sud­bury has is­sued a flood watch for the Wanapitei River wa­ter­shed, in­clud­ing Wanapitei Lake.

For all other wa­ter­courses within the City of Greater Sud­bury, wa­ter safety mes­sag­ing is be­ing main­tained.

Both state­ments are to re­main in ef­fect un­til 10 a.m. on May 16.

The En­vi­ron­ment Canada forecast for in­di­cates warm tem­per­a­tures near­ing 18 C, with no ma­jor pre­cip­i­ta­tion in sight; how­ever, the com­bi­na­tion of re­cent rain­fall and snowmelt in the up­per reaches of the wa­ter­shed has re­sulted in ris­ing wa­ter lev­els and very high stream flows flow­ing into Wanapitei Lake, ac­cord­ing to the con­ser­va­tion au­thor­ity. Sub­stan­tial flow is be­ing re­leased down­stream into the Wanapitei River by On­tario Power Gen­er­a­tion and wa­ter lev­els and flows in the river are al­ready el­e­vated. This ad­di­tional in­crease in dis­charge will take place over the next sev­eral days re­sult­ing in fur­ther in­crease in wa­ter lev­els.

The neigh­bour­hoods ad­ja­cent to the river in the Wa­hanap­i­tae and the Wanup ar­eas might ex­pe­ri­ence shore­line flood­ing due to in­creased flow com­ing from Wanapitei Lake. High flows can lead to in­creased shore­line ero­sion. The de­vel­op­ing con­di­tions must be closely mon­i­tored by all res­i­dents, Con­ser­va­tion Sud­bury said, es­pe­cially those liv­ing in known low-ly­ing ar­eas where over­land flood­ing could be­come an is­sue.

Pub­lic safety is the No. 1 pri­or­ity, es­pe­cially for chil­dren who may be at­tracted to the edge of creeks or rivers. The cold, fast flow­ing wa­ter must be avoided. Stream banks will be very slip­pery and un­safe, and must be avoided. Open-wa­ter ar­eas of­ten found at the edges of ice-cov­ered lakes will con­tinue to widen and these must also be avoided.

Con­ser­va­tion Sud­bury re­mains in di­rect contact with the City of Greater Sud­bury and all other part­ners as re­quired. Staff con­tin­ues with the mon­i­tor­ing of wa­ter lev­els and up­dates will be pro­vided as re­quired.

For more in­for­ma­tion please visit www.con­ser­va­tion­sud­bury.ca.

In Mat­tawa, mean­while, Mayor Dean Backer says he sup­ports a pub­lic in­quiry into why the town re­ceived rel­a­tively short no­tice ahead of the planned re­lease of wa­ter into the Ottawa River that has flooded the sur­round­ing area.

Backer says the On­tario Om­buds­man will “def­i­nitely” be part of the con­ver­sa­tion also as he con­tin­ues to seek an­swers, in­clud­ing from On­tario Power Gen­er­a­tion, to why he wasn’t no­ti­fied sooner be­fore the Otto Holden Dam was opened May 6.

“It’s very frus­trat­ing,” he said. “We’re one small mu­nic­i­pal­ity com­pared to all of them that’s been af­fected, right through Latch­ford down to the City of Ottawa.

“But I will guar­an­tee you that I will get all our coun­ter­parts that are part of the whole Ottawa River sys­tem and the Ottawa River plan­ning board, all their may­ors and coun­cil­lors, we’ll get together and def­i­nitely get some an­swers from the peo­ple who make these de­ci­sions.”

The town has been un­der a week­long state of emer­gency as flood­ing from the Mat­tawa and Ottawa rivers con­tin­ues to threaten shore­line prop­er­ties and dis­place res­i­dents from their homes.

We’re one small mu­nic­i­pal­ity com­pared to all of them that’s been af­fected, right through Latch­ford down to the City of Ottawa.

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