Be prepared for flooding: City

By Lindsay Advocate

Each year, portions of the municipality are prone to flooding with the onset of the spring thaw, known as the spring freshet.

On March 14, Kawartha Conservation issued the first Flood Outlook of the season, signalling that weather conditions forecast for the next several days could create the potential for flooding. The Outlook states:

At this time, the local rivers and streams have returned to their low water levels, following the rise that was observed very early last week. However considerable snowpack, up to 30 cm, still exists around the watershed, and grounds are frozen. In addition, many low-lying areas, ditches, and ponds are already filled with frozen water from the warm-up last week.

Under these weather conditions, the snowpack will start melting, producing substantial runoff. As the current watershed capacity to absorb the expected snowmelt is limited, the water levels and flows in local rivers will increase over the next three days. Rivers are expected to reach or exceed their banks; water is likely to accumulate in low-lying areas, areas with poor drainage, road ditches. Small watercourses will be quick to respond, while larger rivers will take longer to start rising. 

The ice cover, where it still exists, will weaken and break under the mild temperatures. Moving ice, coupled with debris, will increase the potential for blockage and ice jams, especially in the vicinity of culverts and bridges.

Local erosion damage to road allowances and riverbanks can be expected.

In these circumstances, all local rivers, streams, and lakes should be considered extremely dangerous. Riverbanks will be slippery and unsafe; any remaining ice cover is unstable and hazardous. Kawartha Conservation is warning all residents to stay away from water bodies, as well as water structures such as bridges, culverts, and dams. Children should be warned of dangerous conditions and caregivers should maintain a close watch on children who are outside.

Property owners are advised to prepare their property now for potential flooding this season.

Take steps to stay informed

The most important thing you can do to be prepared is to ensure you stay up to date on flood warning and advisories. Please choose one or more ways to stay informed:

  • Subscribe to the municipal newsroom to receive public notices and advisories straight to your email
  • Follow Kawartha lakes on Facebook and Twitter to see the latest updates
  • Download the municipal information tool, Pingstreet, on your mobile device to receive emergency push notifications
  • Tune in to the latest warnings and advisories on 91.9 Bounce FM radio and Global/CHEX television and other local news sources.
  • Road closures due to flooding: Public safety is always our top priority. Roads will be closed if they are deemed to be unsafe. All road closures and re-openings are posted on Municipal 511 and can be viewed on the Flood page of our website at or directly at

Prepare your property with sandbags to redirect water

Property owners in flood plain areas are responsible to redirect water from their properties as needed. Please secure your own sand bag supplies from your local hardware store. Supplies are available from the municipality for property owners who require them. Please be respectful of your neighbours’ needs and only take what you need.

Sandbags and supplies are now available at the following locations:

Locations with pre-filled bags for pick up: 

  • Burnt River Community Centre: 16 Somerville Centre Road, Burnt River
  • Coboconk Legion Park: Highway 35 North, Coboconk

Locations with sand and bags for residents:
Please bring your own shovel to fill the bags.

  • Dalton Community Centre: 13 Rumohr Dr, Sebright
  • Chisholm Trail: Between Black River Road and Sadowa Road
  • Ward Park: 17675 Highway 35 North, Norland

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