The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Sudbury and Parry Sound Districts are advising residents in the West Arm area of Lake Nipissing, as well as the French and Lower Pickerel River Watersheds, that the Flood Warning has been extended in both Districts until May 24.
The affected communities include St. Charles, French River and Killarney municipalities, McConkey, Blair and Mowat townships, and Henvey Inlet First Nation. The ministry is closely monitoring the weather and developing watershed conditions and further updates will be issued as necessary. A weather system is expected to affect Lake Nipissing and the French River on Saturday evening with the forecast calling for 15 to 20 millimetres of rain. The rain will continue into Sunday and is expected to taper off into Monday. The total rainfall amount over the next five days for the area is expected to be in the range of 25 millimetres. Daytime temperatures, despite being below the seasonal average, will remain in the double digits and stay above freezing at night.
Lake Nipissing water levels are currently sitting at 196.47 metres which is above the Maximum ‘Non-Damage’ Water Level of 196.22. As inflows into the lake start to stabilize, discharge into the French River will be evaluated on a daily basis. The water levels and flows in the French River are still very high, with the forecasted precipitation and high inflows, there is still the potential to observe additional increases in the coming days.
With the increased water levels and flows that are being seen, homes and other infrastructure in low lying areas are likely to be impacted. Municipalities and residents, especially those in low-lying areas and along shorelines, are encouraged to monitor these conditions and prepare accordingly. Shorelines and banks adjacent to rivers and creeks are very slippery and unstable at this time and, when combined with cold open water, pose a serious hazard.
The MNRF recommends a close watch on local forecasts and conditions.