Spring will be here soon enough, bringing with it flooding concerns

Know the dangers

It’s that time of year.

As spring approaches, the Nottawasaga Valley and Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authorities remind everyone to stay well back from waterways, ditches, ponds and lakes this time of year.

Unsafe ice and slippery banks already exist. The onset of spring will mean rain and melting snow, which will cause the breakup of ice along watercourses and lakes and high stream flows. These hazardous conditions can cause life-threatening injury if a person falls into the extremely cold water.

Although we have experienced a few thaws this winter, the snow cover that is currently observed throughout the Lake Simcoe watershed is typical for the beginning of March. The ground remains frozen and local rivers, streams and lakes are mostly covered in ice. With warmer weather, comes melting snow and potential rain which will contribute to higher water levels and increased velocities in local watercourses. As well, slippery and unstable streambanks and extremely cold water temperatures can also lead to very hazardous and dangerous conditions close to any body of water.

Conservation authorities advise residents to keep family and pets away from the edge of streams, rivers, ponds and lakes at this time of year. And, especially during March Break, they say it’s important to supervise children and help them understand the dangers of playing near creeks and streams.

Anglers, canoeists, hikers, hunters and other recreational users also need to be aware of the dangerous conditions that could pose a risk to personal safety.

Where you can, move objects such as chairs or benches away from the water’s edge to avoid losing them during the spring flood.