Effective advisories and warnings help minimize flood risks
Accurate flood forecasting and an effective warning system can minimize the risk to human life and property damage that can result from flooding.
The melting of winter snow along with the new spring rains can create serious flooding and disastrous effects from the devastation caused by flood waters. Forecasting possible flooding, and warning residents along the Mississippi and Carp Rivers and their tributaries of the danger, are key responsibilities of Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA).
MVCA monitors weather information, river flows, snow pack and ice conditions in order to predict when floods will occur and how high the water may rise. When flooding is possible, or about to occur, MVCA issues four diferent types of flood messages— based on conditions—to municipal emergency management officials and the media with messaging that is consistent across the Province
MVCA advises watershed municipalities about potential conditions for flooding within the watershed. Sometimes within 48 hours; sometimes just hours before a flood occurs dependng on the conditions. Updated flood advisories or flood warnings are prepared as conditions demand.
How We Forecast
In order to forecast potential flood events MVCA staff must continuously monitor the water conditions across the watershed especially stream flows and lake levels.
This is done through:
- extensive network of automated recorders (stream gaugaes) and human observation (staff gauges)
- measuring snow water content and density (snow courses)
- monitoring temperature and precipitation forecasts
These measurements, weather forecasts and radar information on temperature and rainfall predictions, along with historical data, are all taken into consideration when developing a flood forecast. When a severe flood occurs, as was the case in 1998, a Flood Control Centre is established at the MVCA office at 10970 Hwy. 7 Carleton Place ON; 613.253.0006 where up-to-the-minute information is released.