Flood threat low, says Parks Canada
By Chad Ingram
Published March 16, 2017
There is still plenty of water storage space in the feeder and flow-through lakes above Minden, says Parks Canada, meaning the threat of flood in the village is currently low.
Haliburton County received more snowfall this winter than last, with that snowfall being about average for the area.
Following some periods of early thawing, water levels on the feeder lakes in Haliburton County were above average on March 7.
“Water levels in the Haliburton County feeder lakes are currently above average which is not surprising given the early melt we have seen,” reads an email from Karen Feeley, a communications officer with the Ontario Waterways Unit of Parks Canada. “Prior to that, water levels were about average,” Feeley wrote. “Water levels were lower than normal heading into the winter after the dry fall.”
Parks Canada operates the Trent-Severn Waterway, with some of the county’s lakes part of the system that feeds the Trent-Severn Canal between Trenton and Port Severn.
“As of today [March 7], there is still ample storage available above Minden and therefore the imminent threat of a flood is low,” the email reads. “The current weather pattern which has seen brief periods of warmer weather and rain followed by a cold spell has been to our advantage.”
The amount of water in the snowpack is about average for the time of year.
“Parks Canada measures snow water equivalent and depth weekly,” Feeley wrote. “Last week the snow water equivalent was about normal for this time of year. Prior values were above normal but not record setting.”
Minden sits in the flood plain of the Gull River, so there is always some flooding in the village during the springtime. The last severe flood was the catastrophic flood of 2013, which left large parts of Minden underwater and Minden Hills township in a state of emergency for three weeks.
Water was retained in the lakes north of Minden to prevent further flooding of the village, causing property damage on some of those lakes.
“Parks Canada remains committed to its water management responsibilities, including ongoing monitoring of water levels and flows year-round, and will continue to work with all relevant organizations to mitigate wherever possible against flooding and help prepare for future events,” Feeley wrote.