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Media Advisory

Friday, February 17, 2012 - Newmarket - Conservation authority adopts new terminology for flood messages

Effective February 17, 2012, the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority will be using new terminology for flood and water safety messages. The terminology is now consistent with severe weather terms used by Environment Canada and the Weather Network.

When flooding is possible or about to occur, the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority issues flood messages to municipal emergency management officials, school boards, police, fire and the media. Flood messages are also posted in the Flood Status section of the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority website.

The conservation authority issues three levels of flood and water safety messages and will use the following terminology effective Friday, February 17, 2012:

  • Watershed Conditions Statement (Previously High Water Safety Bulletin): a general notice of weather conditions that could pose a risk to personal safety or which have the potential to lead to flooding. There are two variations of these:
    • Watershed Conditions Statement - Water Safety: High flows, unsafe banks, melting ice or other factors could be dangerous for recreational users such as anglers, canoeists, hikers, children, pets, etc. Flooding is not expected
    • Watershed Conditions Statement - Flood Outlook: 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, cause ice jams, lakeshore flooding or erosion.
  • Flood Watch (Previously Flood Advisory): Flooding is possible in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should prepare.
  • Flood Warning (No change): Flooding is imminent or already occurring in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities and individuals should take action to deal with flood conditions. This may include road closures and evacuations.

The new terms were developed by a committee of representatives made up of Conservation Authorities, Conservation Ontario, the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment Canada and other agencies. Monitoring weather and flood conditions is a shared responsibility of Conservation Authorities, OMNR, and Environment Canada. The OMNR Surface Water Monitoring Centre in Peterborough monitors weather forecasts and water levels across the province, providing the information to Conservation Authorities. Other information is also available from Environment Canada.

Media contact:
Kristen Yemm
Manager, Corporate Communications
Phone: 905-895-1281 ext. 315