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GRCA issues flood risk assessment for coming spring

Pictured, Elmira in the aftermath of the June 2017 flood.

The Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) is warning of a moderate to high risk of flooding for spring 2020, with the greatest risk along the Lake Erie shoreline at the south end of the watershed.

The risk for flooding can be attributed to a higher than average amount of precipitation and milder temperatures throughout the year.

Stephanie Shifflett, who last week presented the forecast at the annual GRCA meeting of municipal flood coordinators, is advising residents to prepare.

“Ground conditions remain saturated and frozen across northern portions of the watershed which will make it more reactive during rapid melt events,” said Shifflett. “GRCA reservoirs are at their normal operating level for this time of year and conditions will be monitored closely as we head into spring. Residents who typically experience spring flooding should ensure they are prepared due to the elevated risk this year.”

Reservoirs used to manage runoff and capture water to reduce downstream flooding, are at normal levels.

Filling cycles will start in the next few weeks.

Lake Erie remains above the long-term average and record levels for this time of year.

Environment Canada predicts above normal temperatures and precipitation amounts over the next three months.

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