RRCA Reminds Residents to Prepare for Spring Thaw

Provided by the RRCA
RRCA Reminds Residents to Prepare for Spring Thaw
RRCA Field Operations Team Lead, Pete Sabourin, weighs a snowpack sample to find out the snow water equivalent during a routine survey.

The recent thaw and rainfall experienced on February 17 within the Raisin Region Conservation Authority (RRCA)’s jurisdiction provided area residents with a reminder that spring is around the corner. While the RRCA’s bi-monthly snow monitoring at sampling stations in Newington and Apple Hill reveals that current snow water equivalent levels are within the normal historical range for those sampling locations, the Conservation Authority is encouraging property owners to prepare for the upcoming spring thaw.

“Checking eavestroughs for any ice or debris blockages, and making sure downspouts extend away from homes and buildings can help prevent basement flooding,” says RRCA Resource Specialist, Halya Petzold. “Shoveling snow away from your home’s foundation and making sure your sump pump is in good working order are also helpful routine preventative measures.”

Caution should generally also be exercised near waterbodies in the spring due to potential increases in water flows. Parents should inform their children of the risks and provide appropriate supervision.

As part of its Flood Forecasting and Warning program, the RRCA monitors water levels and weather forecasts throughout the year and maintains a four-tiered flood status indicator for the region. The RRCA notifies its partner municipalities and the general public whenever water levels are expected to rise beyond a normal level.

“In the winter months, regular snow surveys provide us with valuable data about snow water equivalent, which is the amount of water held within the snowpack,” says Petzold. “Anyone who’s ever shoveled a driveway knows that the density – or water equivalent – of snow will vary regardless of how many centimetres of it are on the ground.”

The RRCA has been conducting snow surveys at sampling stations in Newington and Apple Hill since 1978, providing staff with years of data against which they can compare this year’s measurements.

The snow survey data taken on February 15 of this year had an average water equivalent of 77 millimeters, which is 15 percent above the historical normal for this time of year.

For more information on the Flood Forecasting and Warning program, please visit the RRCA’s website at rrca.on.ca, or contact (613) 938-3611 or info@rrca.on.ca.

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