News & Events

Cold Weather this weekend could cause localized frazil ice formation and flooding in Rideau Valley Watershed


WCS – R02/2021
January 29, 2021

Environment Canada is forecasting very cold weather beginning today and continuing into Sunday before returning to normal range on Monday. This includes night-time wind chill temperatures in the range of -20 to -30 degrees Celsius. In areas where there is a lack of ice cover along with turbulent flow, these cold temperatures can trigger the formation of frazil ice which can accumulate quickly on bridge abutments, piers and riverbanks resulting in increased water levels and flooding in low-lying areas. The small rivers and streams with open water, such as the Tay River, are considered the most vulnerable for frazil ice formation, resulting in localized flooding. Please notify RVCA if any localized flooding is observed to due frazil ice formation by sending an email to

Residents are advised to stay away from all rivers and watercourses in the vicinity of any frazil ice and high-water areas. Parents are encouraged to explain these dangers to their children.

This watershed conditions statement is in effect until Monday February 1, 2021 at 5 PM or until an update has been issued.

More Information:
Contact: Brian Stratton, RVCA Manager Engineering Services
Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
613-692-6804, 1-800-267-3504 ext. 1141

“Rideau Valley Conservation Authority is a partnership of municipalities within the Rideau Valley watershed created under the Conservation Authorities Act to deliver a range of programs in watershed management and natural resource conservation.”

RVCA Watershed Conditions Statements:

Water Safety – High flows, unstable banks, melting ice or other factors that could be dangerous for recreational users such as anglers, canoeists, hikers, children, pets, etc.  Flooding is not expected.

Flood Outlook – Early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts, calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high winds or other conditions that could lead to high runoff, cause ice jams and/or lakeshore flooding or erosion.

Flood Watch – Flooding is possible in specific watercourses or municipalities.  Municipalities, emergency services and individuals in flood prone areas should prepare.

Flood Warning – Flooding is imminent or already occurring in specific watercourses or municipalities.