Burnt River Black River and Gull River Flood Contingency Plan

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1 Burnt River Black River and Gull River Flood Contingency Plan Objective: The objective of this plan is to preplan and prepare for flooding events in the Burnt River, Black River and Gull River area of the City of Kawartha Lakes. Responsibilities: 1. Trent Severn Waterway will be providing verbal updated progress reports on the status of the water levels, and potential areas of concern. Automatic s pertaining to critical water levels will be sent out from flow metering stations as well. The Department of Public Works will be providing stockpiles of sand and empty bags on those cottage roads in the flood plain areas. For those who are unable to fill the bags, a stockpile of filled sandbags will be made available for pick up at the Roads Department buildings in Burnt River. In emergency situations, Public Works will deliver sand bags and provide assistance with their placement. 2. Emergency services will be provided by the City of Kawartha Lakes Fire and Emergency Medical Services. This will include evacuation assistance, if needed. 3. The OPP will be providing security as well as evacuation assistance, if needed. 4. Social Services is responsible for the co-ordination of emergency social services, including emergency shelter, food, clothing and personal services. 1

2 Recommendations: For those vulnerable to flooding the following recommendations were made: 1. Start moving furniture to the upper levels of your residence. 2. Fill a sufficient supply of sand bags from the supply provided by the City of Kawartha Lakes. 3. If you do leave your home prior to the flood or during an evacuation, shut off the electricity at the control panel. 4. Wherever possible make arrangements in advance for alternate accommodations with family or friends in case you need to leave your home due to flooding. Points to remember: Have a supply of all necessary prescriptions and medical supplies in case you need to leave on short notice; Bring important papers with you such as ID, personal documents; If you have pets, remember their needs as well. Any residents requiring emergency accommodations, and who have not made their own arrangements in advance, should contact A Place Called Home at 64 Lindsay St. South in Lindsay or call (toll free: ). A Place Called Home is available 24 hours a day, 7 days per week to provide emergency shelter and support services. The Canadian Red Cross can provide general information on disaster personal preparedness. Contact the Lindsay and District office at or toll free Social Services inquiries can be directed to the Social Services office at

3 Communications: The various Burnt River cottagers associations have offered their support in providing contact persons from whom residents can get regular status updates as well as emergency services information. These volunteer contact persons will be the liaison with the various agencies and will be given regular updates. They will in turn, be contacting all residents within their associations with updates and emergency services recommendations. The following web sites and telephone numbers are to be used for up to date information on the status of the flood (see Appendix B). Although these contacts are provided it is highly recommended that residents rely on the consistent information being provided to your association representatives. The central contact person is the North District Public Works Area Manager. The Manager will receive the information from the Trent-Severn Waterway (TSW) and the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) and update the Coboconk Service Center. The Manager will then forward the current state and expected changes to the City of Kawartha Lakes Communications Officer. The Communications Officer will ensure the information is posted to the City of Kawartha Lakes Website at The Communications Officer will prepare Media Releases and update the Cottage Associations, the Municipal Call Center and Council with the current flood information. As a back up, information will be faxed to the Burnt River Fire Hall. The Information will be placed in a prominent location for viewing by the residents and cottage associations. Note Residents and representatives from the cottage associations are not to contact TSW or MNR directly. See Appendix A Communication Flow Chart See Appendix B Contact List 3

4 Flooding Defined: A flood is defined as a situation where water levels in a watercourse exceed the channel banks. Flooding in Ontario is a fairly common occurrence. Heavy spring rains and snowmelt commonly result in flooding, particularly in larger watersheds. High local rainfall associated with severe thunderstorms can cause flooding within smaller urban watersheds. Winter ice jams associated with frazil ice formation or spring break up may also result in severe flooding situations. Many watercourses have flood susceptible developments that were settled prior to current planning standards. Floods can happen at any time of the year and there is a common opinion that the frequency of extreme weather and flooding will increase due to climate change. Accordingly, flood awareness and preparedness to deal with flood emergencies are critical to public safety. The responsibility for dealing with flood contingency planning in Ontario is shared by Municipalities, Conservation Authorities and the Ministry of Natural Resources. In the case of the Burnt River System, Parks Canada (Trent-Severn Waterway) will play a lead role in Flood Contingency Planning. The Trent-Severn Waterway The Trent-Severn Waterway is an interconnected series of lakes, improved river channels and artificial canal cuts stretching for 386 km through the heart of Ontario. The water in the system comes from two major watersheds, the Trent and Severn. The Trent River is the largest river in Southern Ontario while Lake Simcoe in the Severn watershed is the largest lake. The Waterway, including its tributary lakes and rivers, is an important economic, environmental and recreational resource used by thousands of boaters, shoreline residents, businesses and vacationers every year. It also provides water for power generation, municipal water supplies, and agriculture and supports a tremendous variety of fish and wildlife. The Trent River Basin The Trent River basin drains more than 12,000 km² of Central Ontario. The Trent River basin encompasses some 218 lakes in the Haliburton Highlands region, 37 of which are directly controlled by Waterway dams. 4

5 Water from these lakes flows south along the Gull River, Burnt River, Nogies Creek, Mississauga River, Eels Creek or Jack Creek systems into the Kawartha Lakes and other TSW lakes. The shallow soils of the Canadian Shield which characterizes the Haliburton Highlands and specifically in this case the Burnt River cannot absorb much water, which will result in more rapid Flash Runoff. Water levels and flows throughout the Trent and Severn drainage basins are managed by Parks Canada an Agency of Environment Canada. The Trent-Severn Waterway is divided into four administrative areas, with offices in Campbellford, Lakefield, Kirkfield and Haliburton. The Waterway Headquarters is located in Peterborough. Water management on the Waterway is intended to regulate water levels and flows in order to: lessen flooding of residential, agricultural and commercial property permit safe boating provide water for recreational activities protect fish and wildlife habitat help maintain water quality generate hydro-electric power When establishing water flows and levels, Waterway staff must weigh the risks and requirements of these various uses to arrive at optimal levels. They must also take into account variables over which no control is possible such as topography and allow for variations in climatic conditions (rain, snowfall, temperature, etc.) based upon records of trends, extremes and averages. Daily readings from automatic water level recording stations and from stream flow and precipitation gauges are evaluated at Waterway headquarters to guide the engineers' decisions about dam settings, levels and flows. Directions are then communicated to operations staff in each of the four administrative areas who make the agreed changes at the dams. Fall and Winter During the fall and winter, the Haliburton and Kawartha Lakes are lowered by increasing their outflows. This drawdown prepares the lakes for the spring snowmelt and reduces the threat of high water and ice damage. Snow course sites throughout the Trent and Severn drainage areas are surveyed regularly beginning in January. Information about the depth and water content 5

6 obtained from these surveys aids in forecasting the total volume and peak runoff for the upcoming spring thaw. Spring March, April and May are critical months for Waterway hydrologists as melting snow and rain fill waterway lakes. Attention focuses on the weather. Both heavy rainfall and prolonged warm temperatures will cause rivers and lakes to rise suddenly. The historical record shows this often results in more than one peak during spring freshet. Efforts to control this flooding are hampered by narrow channels, insufficient storage capacities in some lakes and the differing abilities of soils throughout the drainage basins to absorb water. While flood mitigation is a primary spring-time concern of Waterway staff, care is also taken to ensure that water flows and levels are adequate to protect fish spawning sites and for use in the following summer. Summer During the summer, attention shifts to preserving water levels and flows. Navigable depths on the Waterway must be maintained while minimizing the requirement for water from the reservoir lakes. Although minimum flows are maintained to sustain water quality, the main cause of water loss is evaporation from the surface of lakes. The weather, particularly temperature, humidity and rainfall, determines the rate at which water from the reservoir lakes is needed. While summer water management generally means conserving water supplies, unusually heavy rainfall at any time during the season can increase the risk of flooding. At these times, levels rise and flows are increased to move water out of the system. This may sometimes result in closures to navigation until flows and levels return within safe navigation limits. 6

7 Appendix A Communication Flow Chart KRCA Ministry of Natural Resources Trent Severn Waterway North District Public Works Area Manager Update Coboconk Service Center Communications Officer BACK UP Update Municipal Website Prepare Media Releases Update Cottage Associations Update Municipal Call Center Update Council Burnt River Fire Hall Information Center 7

8 Appendix B Appendix B Contact List Burnt River Burnt River Flood Information Coboconk Municipal Service Center (705) Municipal Hours of Operation: Contact List- Burnt River Municipal Hours of Operation are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If you want to call, you can phone the Municipal Call Center at (705) If you are in an area where this number would incur charges, call us tollfree at Customer Services staff will be pleased to assist you. Municipal Emergencies: DO NOT USE - Emergencies must be reported through making LIVE contact with City staff. Daytime Municipal Emergencies - LIVE contact reached by calling the Municipal Call Center at (705) Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. After Hours Municipal Emergencies, including weekends and statutory holidays - LIVE contact reached by calling our after-hours service provider at

9 Black River Flood Information Coboconk Municipal Service Center (705) Municipal Hours of Operation: Appendix B Contact List- Black River Municipal Hours of Operation are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If you want to call, you can phone the Municipal Call Center at (705) If you are in an area where this number would incur charges, call us tollfree at Customer Services staff will be pleased to assist you. Municipal Emergencies: DO NOT USE - Emergencies must be reported through making LIVE contact with City staff. Daytime Municipal Emergencies - LIVE contact reached by calling the Municipal Call Center at (705) Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. After Hours Municipal Emergencies, including weekends and statutory holidays - LIVE contact reached by calling our after-hours service provider at

10 Appendix B Contact List- Gull River Gull River Flood Information Coboconk Municipal Service Center (705) Municipal Hours of Operation: Municipal Hours of Operation are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If you want to call, you can phone the Municipal Call Center at (705) If you are in an area where this number would incur charges, call us tollfree at Customer Services staff will be pleased to assist you. Municipal Emergencies: DO NOT USE - Emergencies must be reported through making LIVE contact with City staff. Daytime Municipal Emergencies - LIVE contact reached by calling the Municipal Call Center at (705) Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. After Hours Municipal Emergencies, including weekends and statutory holidays - LIVE contact reached by calling our after-hours service provider at

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