2019 Flood Facts

The Mississippi and Ottawa rivers experienced an extreme spring melt event this year. MVCA captured peak information at various locations across the Mississippi watershed and at Constance Bay that will be used for future modeling and analysis, and to help avoid new construction within the flood zone.

*Return period

The so-called 100-year flood means a flood event that has a 1% probability of occurring every year based statistical analysis of historical records.  A 100-year flood event can happen two years in a row.  Like flipping a coin, where each time the probability remains constant at 50%, you can still get tails three times in a row.  We may not see another event this size for many years; or it could come again next year.

**Target Levels

These are operational targets designed to support summer recreational use across the watershed.  Achieving these target levels in the spring allows the MVCA to release water downstream as needed to address losses due to evaporation during the summer.  Under drought conditions and years with limited snow, storage capacity can become depleted and summer lake levels will drop below ideal conditions.


Spring Freshet Videos
Throughout the course of the spring freshet, MVCA brought you videos to explain what we do as a Conservation Authority to manage the watershed. You can view the videos here.


Mississippi River Watershed

Ottawa River – Constance Bay

MVCA role in flood risk management

Our role is to protect people and property from flooding long before the rain begins. We work to prevent or minimize the impacts from floods by:

  • Identifying areas at risk of flooding through hydrological and hydraulic analysis.
  • Regulating development (buildings/fill) in flood prone areas and other areas that protect us from flooding, such as wetlands.
  • Maintaining a flood forecasting and war​ning system. We have a staff team that monitors watershed conditions, tracks weather, and issues flood alerts to local authorities (emergency services, municipalities, school boards, etc.). The purpose of this service is to reduce risk to life and damage to property by providing local agencies and the public with notice, information and advice so they can respond to potential flooding and flood emergencies.​​

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