The Otonabee Region Conservation Authority (ORCA) advises that a FLOOD WATCH is currently in effect for the Otonabee River, and in particular, low lying areas below Lock 19.
Over the past two days, the Otonabee River watershed has experienced below normal temperatures with wind chills approaching -30 degrees centigrade. As a result of these cold temperatures, frazzle ice has developed within the Otonabee River. Of primary concern are those areas adjacent to the Otonabee River below the Trent Severn Waterway’s Lock 19. ORCA staff is advising the public and our emergency management partners that frazil ice is accumulating and jamming in this area, causing elevated water levels on the River. In the past four hours, water levels on the Otonabee River below Lock 19 have increased at a rate of 5 centimetres per hour. This rate of rise may continue until relief, in the form of warmer air temperatures, is realized. That is, as air temperatures rise it is anticipated that frazil ice generation will decrease accordingly. In the meantime, residents are encouraged to take the appropriate precautions to protect themselves and their property.
ORCA staff will continue to monitor weather conditions and water levels and will update this message as required. This Flood Watch will remain in effect until Thursday January 7, 2016