MNR Bulletin issued Thursday afternoon, June 12:
The Ministry of Natural Resources – Fort Frances District is advising area residents that a Flood Warning is in 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, and Rainy Lake and Lake of the Woods. The situation has already resulted in a closure of the Sapawe/Upsala forest access road (between km 12 and 35), a washout of the Flemming Road at Km. 12, and a washout of Hwy 11 west of Van Drunen Road. Given forecasted rainfall predicted over the next two to three days 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 should 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.
Description of Weather System
A low pressure system has been active in the northwest Ontario since Wednesday and has brought with it rainfall in the amounts ranging from 10 mm – 80 + mm throughout the Fort Frances / Rainy Lake / Atikokan areas. Further rainfall amounts of 20 – 35 mm (cumulative) are expected within the next 3 days with additional risk of thunderstorms which could drive the rainfall numbers higher in isolated locations.
Description of Current Conditions
Water levels and flows in the Fort Frances and Atikokan areas are currently high in area streams. Forecast rainfall in the amount of 20-30 mm over Thursday, Friday and Saturday with higher numbers due to thunderstorm could result in higher stream levels and flows resulting in flooding conditions where there are ongoing high water concerns.
This message will expire on Saturday, June 14 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.