Flood warning exteneded through Saturday: Rain forecasted

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News Release
Ministry of Natural Resources

Tuesday, June 17, 2014
12:00 pm
The Ministry of Natural Resources – Fort Frances District is advising area residents that the Flood Warning has been extended and is in still effect for the Atikokan, Fort Frances, and Rainy River areas.
Recent rainfall has resulted in very high inflow conditions throughout all watersheds within the District, including the Seine River, Atikokan River, Rainy Lake, and Lake of the Woods. The situation has resulted in a closure of the Sapawe/Upsala forest access road (between km 12 and 35), and a washout of the Flemming Road at Km. 12. Given the volume of water upstream in the system further impacts are likely.
The public is asked to exercise caution when travelling on all forest access roads. Water on roads, washouts and heavy rutting pose a risk to traveller safety. The public should avoid travelling on unfamiliar roads or crossing any submerged roads as there may be a risk to traveler safety. Barricades are erected at roads where known washouts or dangerous driving conditions have been observed. The MNR, Resolute Forest Products and Rainy Lake Tribal Resource Management Inc. are monitoring forest resource access roads in the area to identify hazards.
Residents in the District should be aware that high water levels and flows in area streams and rivers may impact water crossings and that flooding in low lying areas may persist for an extended period of time. Residents with interests adjacent to water bodies may wish to take action to secure and protect property in flood prone or vulnerable areas. Caution is advised around fast moving creeks and rivers. Boaters are recommended to exercise caution due to submerged hazards and high winds.
MNR is closely monitoring the weather and developing watershed conditions. Further updates will be issued as appropriate. Listen to local media for updates or call 511 for road closure information.
TECHNICAL INFORMATION
Description of Weather System
A low pressure system has been active in the northwest Ontario since Wednesday June 11 and has brought with it rainfall in the amounts ranging from 10 mm – 170 + mm throughout the Rainy River / Fort Frances / Atikokan areas. Minimal rainfall amounts are expected for the next few days; however further rainfall amounts of 20 - 50 mm (cumulative) are expected later in the week.
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Description of Current Conditions
Water levels and flows in the Fort Frances and Atikokan areas are currently very high in area streams, rivers, and lakes. The International Rainy – Lake of the Woods Watershed Board (IRLWWB) has advised that Rainy River water levels are the highest observed in 85 years, compounding the high inflows to the basin both upstream and downstream of the Rainy Lake outlet.
Water flowing downstream through the watershed, could result in higher water levels and flows in these water bodies, resulting in flooding conditions where there are ongoing high water concerns.
Resources
The latest information lake levels, dam settings, and basin flows can be found online at http://www.ijc.org/en_/RLWWB
Expiry Date
This message will expire on Saturday, June 21 2014, 12:00 AM
Terminology: Notification Levels
WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT - FLOOD OUTLOOK: gives early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high winds or other conditions
WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT – WATER SAFETY: indicates that high flows, melting ice or other factors could be dangerous for such users as boaters, anglers and swimmers but flooding is not expected.
FLOOD WATCH: potential for flooding exists within specific watercourses and municipalities
FLOOD WARNING: flooding is imminent or occurring within specific watercourses and municipalities.