SNC extends ‘Flood Watch’ until Tuesday, Nov. 7

A field off Oak Valley Rd., photographed facing southwest, Nov. 1. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

FINCH — South Nation Conservation (SNC) continues to watch for flooding throughout the watershed due to continued rain forecasts this weekend.

Residents are still advised to stay away from watercourses, which may rise rapidly and cause slippery riverbanks, and to explain these dangers to children, the watershed authority says in an update to the current ‘Flood Watch.’

SNC released the initial Flood Watch bulletin on Monday of this week, following last weekend’s rain and a corresponding surge in water levels on the river and its tributaries. (One step below an imminent ‘Flood Warning,’ a Flood Watch is intended to advise the authorities and the public in flood-prone areas to prepare for that possibility.)

Last weekend, an estimated 50 to 100 mm fell on the region, with a further 15 to 40 mm since Tuesday of this week. The South Nation River is currently swollen with “freshet” conditions, according to SNC’s John Mesman.

“Based on the current forecast of 15 to 25 mm tonight and an additional 20 mm on Monday, it will take approximately 10 days for the water levels to return to normal,” Mesman told Nation Valley News yesterday (Nov. 2).

“It is normal for there to be a fall and spring freshet, which is what we are experiencing now,” he explained, but noting that spring floods are “often augmented by snow melt and ice jams.”

Asked about current flooding on the South Branch north of Brinston, he said high water levels occur in that area “about once every two years, on average.” However, he wasn’t able to specify how often such levels are seen in autumn versus spring. “I’m not certain how often this type of event has occurred in the fall.”

Water levels are expected to increase due to already saturated soil conditions, which may cause flooding. SNC is also reiterating that some access roads may close due to flooding, and that blockages in storm drains, catch basins and culverts could also cause localized flooding.

The Flood Watch update is in effect until Tuesday, Nov. 7.



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