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Photo of frazil ice

Frazil IceCold temperatures are creating ideal conditions for frazil ice formation on local waterways. Water Resources Manager Bryon Keene says, “The recent cold weather means frazil ice is building up in our local rivers, creeks and streams. This type of ice slowly builds up during cold periods and could cause flooding issues without warning.”

Frazil ice is slush ice that is formed in turbulent, open water on rivers and streams during extreme cold. It can collect under ice sheets or adhere to bridge abutments or any natural materials under the water causing a river to overspill its banks.

Keene adds, “There is an increased risk of ice jamming and possible localized flooding on smaller creeks that are flowing with open water. There is no cause for alarm on the Moira, Napanee and Salmon Rivers just yet. Warmer temperatures will ease these flooding concerns.”

Quinte Conservation staff are monitoring ice conditions closely. Ice thickness and frazil ice thickness are measured regularly. Keene says, “So far no significant concerns have been reported.”

Keene encourages the public to notify Quinte Conservation if they see any flooding concerns. People can call the office twenty-four hours a day and follow the prompts to report any flooding. The numbers to call are (613) 968-3434 or (613) 354-3312.

Quinte Conservation warns the public that stream banks should be avoided in the winter. Ice and snow make footing unpredictable and frigid open water conditions are extremely dangerous. Areas around dams, culverts and bridges should be avoided at all times.

Quinte Conservation monitors water levels, weather forecasts, and ice and snow conditions carefully as part of the agency’s flood forecasting and warning program. Quinte Conservation’s area of concern includes the drainage basins of the Moira, Salmon and Napanee Rivers and their tributaries, and all of Prince Edward County. The public can keep up to date on flooding information by following @quinteca on Twitter.

A Flood Outlook Statement gives early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high wind or other conditions that could lead to high runoff, ice jams, lakeshore flooding or erosion.

For more information:
Bryon Keene
Bryon Keene
Water Resources Manager
(613) 968 - 3434 ext. 113
(613) 354 - 3312 ext. 113

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