Fanshawe dam and reservoir. (Photo via Upper Thames River Conservation Authority)Fanshawe dam and reservoir. (Photo via Upper Thames River Conservation Authority)

Conservation authority anticipates rising water levels over the weekend

With rain and warmer temperatures forecast over the weekend, the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority (UTRCA) has issued a warning to residents to stay away from bodies and shorelines.

A low-pressure system is expected to move through the area Friday and bring 20 to 25 millimetres of rain by afternoon. Water levels are expected to rise due to snowmelt and the additional precipitation.

While flooding is not expected at this time, the conservation authority "[recognizes] that March Break is underway and that people may be out and about for St Patrick’s Day events," which prompted them to warn the public of potential hazards.

UTRCA said water banks will likely be slippery and water will be cold and fast-moving, which together create a serious risk. Flood control reservoirs, such as those at Fanshawe, Wildwood, and Pittock Conservation Areas, will be particularly dangerous due to the fluctuating water levels.

Any ice cover will be weak and unstable, so UTRCA advises the public to stay off of all frozen water. They added that taking shelter along riverbanks or other low-lying, flood-prone areas will be unsafe this weekend.

Those who plan to celebrate the Irish holiday with libations are reminded to be cautious when walking around the city. London police and the London Health Sciences Centre also issued tips ahead of Friday to help ensure members of the public make it home safe and sound.

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