Heavy rainfall and rising temperatures may result in severe weather conditions during the overnight hours and into tomorrow, warns the City of Greater Sudbury.
The current forecast from Environment Canada calls for 40 to 50 millimetres (approximately 1.5 to 2 inches) of rain falling on the Greater Sudbury area, starting at about 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. tonight.
Rain is forecast to end by noon on Wednesday, followed by falling temperatures which could result in freezing rain. Icy conditions will result as temperatures continue to drop through the day and additional snowfall is possible.
“It’s impossible to predict the exact track of an approaching storm, but it’s always best to prepare for potential emergencies,” said Lynn Fortin, co-ordinator of Special Operations for Emergency Management at the City of Greater Sudbury.
“The City of Greater Sudbury is closely monitoring Environment Canada forecasts and has plans in place to safeguard lives and property.”
City of Greater Sudbury maintenance crews are fully deployed. Road crews are currently sanding and salting in response to freezing rain falling this afternoon in parts of the community. Crews have also been dispatched to open catch basins in known low-lying areas to facilitate drainage of excess water.
Motorists are reminded that while municipal crews will do their best to control icy conditions, the only defence during severe weather is to reduce speed, increase braking and following distances, and to stay off the roads whenever possible.
Wastewater collection systems throughout the city will be at peak capacity should heavy rainfall arrive as forecast. Rainfall reaching the 50-mm threshold will increase potential for sewage backups when regular residential and commercial wastewater is combined with excess runoff from rain and melting snow.
Should heavy rain arrive as forecast, residents are asked to reduce extra water use whenever possible.
Do not use washing machines during severe rainfall and avoid flushing toilets after every use.
Residents are also reminded to check their sump pumps and backwater valves for any required maintenance in advance of the storm and to prepare channels to direct runoff from rainwater away from their foundations.
Conservation Sudbury-Nickel District Conservation (NDCA) asks all residents, especially those residing in low-lying and known flood-prone areas, to closely monitor levels of nearby waterways.
Surface flooding from waterways is not expected at this time.
A Watershed Conditions Statement has been posted to www.nickeldistrict.ca and will be updated on a regular basis.
Residents are encouraged to review plans and supplies to equip a 72-hour emergency survival kit to keep their families warm and safe at home.
During a widespread emergency, residents should be prepared to cope on their own for at least three days so that first responders can focus on those in most urgent need.