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Slow spring thaw means no flood worries


cial, during a report at theMarch 19 annual general meeting for the SNC board. As of mid-March, the snowpack depth for the South Nation watershed was higher on average than for the same time period the previous year. Measurements for ice cover on the South Nation River and its tributaries are similar to those for this time in 2014. But the cold weather this season plus the slow thaw as a result of the chillyMarch weather has also reduced the snowpack runoff.The gradual warming has allowed the ice cover to break up in a gradual manner, allowing melt water to drain off at an even pace. There has been no risk of ice jams in local rivers and streams thanks to the gradual thawing and draining. Residents are warned to stay away from river banks now, during the spring thaw, as the ice cover may now be weak and rotting. The SNC flood watchmonitoring continues with updates and any emergency notices posted online at and to local media. The OPP is warning people to stay off the ice now. The past weekend’s snow flurry and the below-zero temperature suggest that winter’s grip is not loosening up evenwith the official arrival of spring. But the OPP S.A.V.E. unit (Snowmobile and All-Terrain Vehicle) urge people to avoid going out on any lakes and streams in EasternOntario now, even if some of them still seem ice-bound. The past warmer weather has started the thawing process below the ice, with sections of some streams showing open water. Other rivers and creeks may still look ice-covered but the ice may now be thin in areas with “rotten” patches covered over with the new- fallen snow or wind drifted snow. Police in some communities of Eastern Ontario have also had reports of youths jum- ping off river banks or foot bridges over a creek to try and break the ice. This risky activity can result in someone going under and becoming trapped below the still-frozen sections of a river or creek. Skatepark Phase Three aid Clarence-Rockland city council has approved a recommendation from administration for the sup- plier of new structures for the third phase of the Joël Gauthier Skate Park project. The city already has allocated $115,000 for the project in its 2015 budget. Council accepted a recommenda- tion from the community services department to award the phase three structure tender contract to the Canadian Ramp Company. The outfit will both supply and set up the equipment as part of the contract terms. – Gregg Chamberlain Stay off ice now

With the official start of spring now in effect, most folks hope to see an end to theMarch chill. One advantage of the slow thaw is a reduced chance of spring flooding in the South Nation River watershed. Staff at the South Nation Conservation Authority (SNC) has been working out pro- jections for potential spring flooding in the region, based on regular measurements of snow and ice cover on the South Nation River and its tributaries and the surrounding banks. The good news is that there is small chance of any flooding problems this season. «No significant threat forecasted,» said Sandra Mancini, SNC water resources offi-

The ice is still on the South Nation River and its tributaries but there are lots of gaps in the frozen covering, which is good news. The slow thawmeans little risk of ice jams that would cause temporary flooding in local rivers and streams.

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