High Water in Pretty River

The February thaw and heavy rain has created a fast flowing high water event along the Pretty River. Flood control measures taken years ago to raise the banks of the Pretty River throughout Collingwood have prevented flooding as snow melt and rain contribute to the highest water levels we have seen this year.

Ice jams (pictured below) blocked the river’s natural flow near Oliver Crescent, causing the river to divert its path to flow over the flood way.

While by design, flowing water over the Oliver Crescent flood way blocked entry by vehicle to and from cottages and homes.

Water was crashing over the cement walkway that usually helps to divert the Pretty River along its normal course during rain events.

Town crews worked hard to clear ice from the water’s edge at the mouth of the river to allow free flowing over the flood way. Heavy equipment was brought in and on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings (February 20th and 21st) workers remained on site to deal with any emergency situation.

Water flows across Oliver Crescent spillway blocking travel by vehicle to and from residences

Environment Canada issued a series of special weather statements, watches and warnings for the south Georgian Bay region. The wet, record mild spell was attributed to a series of low pressure systems moving along a warm front draped across the lower Great Lakes.

Daytime high emperatures on Tuesday (February 20th) hit double digits. In Collingwood, the temperature was 16 degrees early Wednesday morning before dropping to near the freezing point by 6:30 a.m.

The Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority advises that Water Levels are Receding

Water levels in most rivers and streams are receding, but some remain elevated as a result of recent rainfall and snowmelt.

Warmer temperatures will continue to melt any remaining snowpack, which may result in increased water levels throughout the watershed. There is also the potential for ice jams and localized flooding. No major flooding is anticipated at this time.

Cooler temperatures moved in late in the day on February 28th and this will help slow down the snow melt.

Stream banks can be slippery and unstable, which combined with extremely cold water temperatures can create hazardous conditions around our rivers and streams.

Meanwhile, back yards throughout Collingwood turned to ponds as melting snow and rain couldn’t penetrate the frozen ground.

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