Flood Outlook Status

March 23, 2023


Weather forecasts for the Quinte Conservation Watershed predict 20-25 mm of rainfall from Saturday to Sunday, with above zero temperatures expected until Monday. These spring like weather conditions will trigger this year’s spring freshet. Water levels are rising on rivers and creeks, the first peak is anticipated by mid next week. The spring freshet for the Moira, Napanee, and Prince Edward watersheds is the river peak caused by snowmelt which typically occurs in the springtime between mid-March and early May. This is an annual event which swells the rivers and tributaries, providing much needed recharge to lakes and groundwater.

Current watershed conditions are fairly typical for this time of year. Snowmelt has been occurring slowly for a week already, with much of the snowpack being reduced south of Highway 7. North of Highway 7, a significant amount of snow remains, with slightly above normal water content in the most northerly regions. River flows are average for mid-March, which provides significant capacity to accommodate future increases.

It should be noted that springtime peak flows have been well below normal levels for the last three years. Quinte Conservation is currently forecasting that creeks and rivers will reach or exceed normal bankfull conditions this spring. Higher than recently experienced springtime water levels are expected in the coming weeks. Water levels in this range may affect low lying or landscaped waterfront areas, but not dwellings.

Runoff from rain and snow melt will create a rise in water levels on creeks and rivers; however, they are not forecasted to over top their banks at this time. Nuisance flooding is likely to occur around small watercourses, urban areas, and ditches. Large river systems and inland lakes are not expected to flood at this time.

All remaining ice surfaces should be considered unstable due to warming temperatures and higher flows. The public is advised to exercise extreme caution when near rivers and waterbodies and to stay away from open and fast flowing water, culverts, dams, ice covered water, and banks.

Residents in flood prone or low-lying areas are reminded to take the necessary precautions to protect their property. Please ensure sump pumps are in good working condition and to have easy access to a portable backup generator and pump. Help reduce ponding by keeping ditches, culverts, and storm drains clear from obstructions and secure items that might float away as flows increase.

Staff will continue to monitor conditions. For current water levels or to report changes in water levels, residents are encouraged to visit QuinteConservation.ca.

A FLOOD OUTLOOK STATEMENT gives early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather
forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high wind or other conditions that could lead to high runoff,
cause ice jams, lakeshore flooding or erosion.

This message will be in effect until (or updated before) April 6, 2022

Quinte Conservation is a community-based environmental protection agency. It serves 18 municipalities
in the watersheds of the Moira, Napanee and Salmon Rivers and Prince Edward County. It provides costeffective
environmental expertise and leadership. Quinte Conservation’s main goal is to create a
sustainable ecosystem where people and nature live in harmony. More information about Quinte
Conservation is available at www.quinteconservation.ca.


For more information contact:
Dave Eastcott, Water Resources Technologist
(613) 968-3434 ext. 130 OR (613) 354-3312 ext. 126