Flash Flood season is upon us!

Flooded River
Flooding can happen where you least expect it. Ensure you have high ground to escape to when geocaching.

Melting snow, rain storms and warm winds are starting to appear in Southern Ontario. Rivers and tributaries are going to change drastically. It’s time to be aware that those geocaching hikes next to rivers may end up not being a dry one. River waters can rise in minutes. What looks like a warm sunny day where you are could be a rain filled day up river which could be flushing our eco-system of that four letter word “Snow”.

Per The Brantford Expositor –

The upcoming warm spell will melt a lot of snow and ice throughout the Grand River watershed but the risk of flooding this spring remains high, Grand River Conservation Authority officials say.

“The flood risk for spring is high due to the high amount of water contained in the snowpack,” Stephanie Shifflett, a water resources engineer with the GRCA, said Wednesday. “The flood risk due to ice jams is high, due to the volume and strength of the ice in the river system.”

Prior to the current warm spell, there was an above-average amount of snow in the northern portion of the watershed and south of Cambridge. Snow cover was average in the central portion through most of Waterloo Region and Wellington County, she added.

At the same time, Environment Canada is predicting a return to normal winter temperatures and above normal precipitation over the next three months. That means there will be lots of time to replace the snow and ice lost this week due to the warm weather, said Shifflett.

“Given the high amount of water in the current snowpack and the saturated or frozen ground conditions, the potential for a major flood is higher than normal if a significant rain event occurs along with a rapid spring snow melt,” she said.

Meantime, the Coast Guard icebreaker Griffon was expected to arrive Wednesday evening offshore at Port Maitland, in Haldimand County, to begin ice breaking operations Thursday morning. Two years ago, an ice-choked Grand River flooded Dunnville and other Haldimand communities.

When geocaching this spring remember:

  • Be aware of your surroundings near water.
  • Ensure that you have high ground to escape to if needed.
  • River banks are slippery and weak, don”t always trust that it will be stable enough to hold your weight.
  • Cache in groups if you are following a river.
  • A cell phone could be your lifeline but it may not work if it gets wet.
  • Mud can bog you down, make sure you wear waterproof, tight fitting foot wear.
  • Stay safe
  • Most of all HAVE FUN!