Do we need two flood reports? Conservation Halton produces a report and the Region produces a report. Why two?

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  April 11, 2013   – Conservation Halton issued the following Watershed Conditions Statement – Flood Outlook today at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday April 10th

Conservation Halton advises that Environment Canada is forecasting rain for the Greater Toronto Area for the next few days. Rainfall amounts are predicted to be between 25 to 40mm starting this evening and throughout tomorrow. Thursday and Friday are also predicted to be wet in nature with a mix of rain and snow. Precipitation values are forecasted to be approximately 40mm.

The majority of the creeks in the watershed are running at near seasonal levels but are expected to increase with the forecasted rainfall. These conditions will result in increased flows and water levels rising to near bankfull in our creeks and will result in dangerous conditions along all watercourses. Widespread flooding is not anticipated however localized flooding can be expected in low-lying and flood prone areas.

Conservation Halton’s reservoirs are still in range of seasonal levels and have storage capacity available.

Conservation Halton is asking all residents and children to stay away from all watercourses and structures such as bridges, culverts and dams. Elevated water levels, fast flowing water, and slippery conditions along stream banks continue to make these locations extremely dangerous. Please alert children in your care of these imminent dangers.

Conservation Halton will continue to monitor stream and weather conditions and will issue further messages as necessary.

Conservation Halton will issue an update to this Watershed Condition Statement – Flood Outlook message only if significant changes in the forecasts occur. This Watershed Condition Statement will be in effect through to Sunday, April 14, 2013.

The Region, in their media release titled: “Take steps to be prepared for the severe weather” had this to say:

How many people sit in the Regional offices writing media releases that do not get read and are probably not needed.

Environment Canada has issued a winter storm watch for Halton Region with the risk of rain changing to ice pellets mixed with freezing rain before morning. Conservation Halton has issued a flood watch and is asking residents to stay away from streams, rivers, bridges, culverts and dams.

“Halton Region’s Emergency Management team is closely monitoring the storm and Environment Canada forecasts and is in contact with partner agencies,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “Residents can take steps to be prepared, like having emergency kits ready, ensuring downspouts are clear and sump pumps are working properly.”

Flooding, freezing rain and ice pellets can make driving hazardous, residents are advised to be cautious and avoid unnecessary travel.

Prior to the storm residents can take the following steps:

Check the radio, television or for updates, information or instructions.

Stock up on water and ready-to-eat food, as well as battery-powered or wind-up flashlights and radios – and extra batteries. In other words, have an Emergency Go-Kit and a Shelter-in-Place/Stay at Home Kit in your home. Keep an Emergency Car Survival Kit in your car and your gas tank filled above halfway.

During the storm residents can follow these tips:

If you must travel, be sure to allow extra time and let someone know your route and expected arrival time. Check weather and road reports before you leave.

Stay at least 10 metres away from a fallen power line, even if it doesn’t appear to be live and report it to your local utility. If you experience a power outage, contact your local utility.

Will one of these fine faces stand up at the next meeting of the Regional Council and ask if a weather advisory is really necessary?

During storms, the Halton Regional Police Service frequently receives 911 calls reporting damage to trees or property. Unless the storm has caused immediate danger or risk to someone’s personal safety, dial 311 rather than 911.

You can stay up to date on the storm by checking, by monitoring Halton’s Twitter feed @BPreparedHaltonExternal Link or by listening for the latest warnings and advisories on radio or television, or dialing 311.

How much of this is actually read?  Do people not get this information on radio? 

Is there a “public service case” for having this kind of information written and distributed?

People get paid with taxpayers dollars to put these releases together.  Is the public getting value for money or is this just another way for the Regional Chair to get his name in print and be seen as doing his job?  Just asking.

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