The Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority (SSMRCA) is updating the terms it uses in flood and water safety messages effective February 2012.
The new terminology is being adopted by the SSMRCA, other Conservation Authorities across Ontario and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR). These changes will ensure their messages are consistent and in line with severe weather terminology used by other agencies such as Environment Canada and the Weather Network.
The SSMRCA issues four levels of messages:
· Watershed Conditions Statement (Previously Watershed Conditions Bulletin): a general notice of weather conditions that could pose a risk to personal safety or which have the potential to lead to flooding. There are two variations of these:
o Water Safety Statement: High flows, unsafe banks, melting ice or other factors could be dangerous for recreational users such as anglers, canoeists, hikers, children, pets, etc. Flooding is not expected
o Flood Outlook Statement: 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.
· Flood Watch (Previously Flood Advisory): Flooding is possible in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should prepare.
· Flood Warning (No change): Flooding is imminent or already occurring in specific watercourses or municipalities. This may include a call for specific ation to be taken by flood co-ordinators and/or emergency services, e.g. closing road and bridges, activation the emergency response plan, warning residents in specific areas or, in some cases, evacuation.
The new terms were developed by a committee of representatives of Conservation Authorities, Conservation Ontario, the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment Canada and other agencies.
Monitoring weather and flood conditions is a shared responsibility of Conservation Authorities, OMNR, and Environment Canada. The OMNR Surface Water Monitoring Centre in Peterborough monitors weather forecasts and water levels across the province, providing the information to Conservation Authorities. Other information is also available from Environment Canada.
When flooding is possible or about to occur, the SSMRCA issues flood messages to municipal emergency management officials and the media. The municipal officials then take action to warn local residents.
The SSMRCA also takes action to control water levels and reduce flooding through the maintenance and operation of five flood control channels, the Fort Creek Dam and reservoir.
FLOOD MESSAGES are posted in the left hand navigation window of the SSMRCA website. In addition, members of the public can contact the Conservation Authority Office at 705-946-8530.
What If A Message Is Issued For Your Area?
- Take heed of the message issued.
- Be prepared to follow the advice and instructions of emergency response authorities.
What are the differences between Flood Warning Levels?
For more information contact:
Tel: (705) 946-8530 ext.# 202