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Be extra careful around water, Conservation Authority warns

Spring melt will create pools of water that will freeze up overnight
On Thursday, Conservation Sudbury issued a water safety statement for Greater Sudbury watersheds that remains in effect until 4:30 p.m. on March 20, urgin residents to be cautious near river banks. (File)

It's that time of year when people have to worry about spring flooding, and the hazards created when the weather turns cold again and all that water freezes up.

On Thursday, Conservation Sudbury issued a water safety statement for Greater Sudbury watersheds that remains in effect until 4:30 p.m. on March 20. 

“Environment Canada has forecast 15-25 mm of rain combined with mild temperatures near 7 C over the next 24 hours,” the group said in a news release. “This will produce some snowmelt and localized ponding on streets and other low lying areas. Forecast temperatures dropping to sub-zero starting Saturday will result in slippery conditions.”

 All watersheds in Greater Sudbury still have a significant snowpack that holds more than 200 mm of water content, the release said. 

“The next snow-course survey will be conducted by staff tomorrow. Water levels and flows in area watercourses are currently within the seasonal range.”

Public safety is the No. 1 priority, especially for children who may be attracted to the edge of creeks or rivers. The cold, fast-flowing water must be avoided.

Stream banks will be very slippery and unsafe, and must be avoided. Any open-water areas will continue to widen and these must also be avoided. 

“Water levels will not decrease rapidly and developing conditions must be closely monitored by all residents especially those living in known low-lying, hazard areas where overland flooding could become an issue,” the release said. “Residents in the City of Greater Sudbury who may experience problems due to overland flooding should call 311. The service operates 24 hours a day.” 

Conservation Sudbury remains in direct contact with the  Greater Sudbury and all other partners. Conservation Sudbury staff continues with the monitoring of water levels; updates will be provided as required. For more information please visit 

Also Thursday, Public Health Sudbury released information on how to prevent your home from flooding, should conditions worsen:

-- Check your sump pump to ensure it is working properly and to making sure your sump pit is not blocked by debris.

-- Reposition your downspouts, if possible, to direct water away from the foundation and neighbouring properties.

-- Move valuables stored on basement floors to a safe location if you are concerned about basement flooding.

If residents do experience flooding, Public Health Sudbury & Districts has the following cleanup tips:

-- Contact your insurance company.

-- Do not go into flooded basements where electrical panels may be affected by the water. DO NOT attempt to shut off electricity if any water is present.

-- Take the appropriate safety measures when dealing with flooding to prevent illness and injury to yourself and others.

-- Restore your home to good order as soon as possible to protect your health and prevent further damage to the house and its contents.

-- If a food storage area is flooded, only undamaged, commercially-prepared foods in sealed, unopened, airtight, waterproof cans, jars, or waterproof pouches are entirely safe to use. However, these cans, jars, or pouches must be carefully inspected, cleaned, and disinfected before use.

-- Keep in mind that food contaminated with bacteria might not look or smell spoiled—when in doubt, throw it out!

For detailed information on cleaning up after a flood, click here.
If you have questions about food safety or cleaning up after a flood and would like to speak with a public health inspector, please call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705-522-9200, ext. 398, or visit