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Warm weather for Family Day weekend prompts water safety statement

Quinte Conservation has issued a water safety statement as local temperatures for the weekend and into next week are forecast to be above normal.

The statement indicates that high flows, unsafe banks, melting ice or other factors could be dangerous, but flooding is not expected. This statement is valid until Feb. 23.

“We are urging the public to be extremely cautious around local waterways,” said Christine McClure, Water Resources Manager. “Ice that was safe earlier may be thinner due to unseasonably warm temperatures.”

McClure reminds parents and caregivers to warn children about the dangers of playing on or near ice covered surfaces or fast flowing water in ditches and smaller creeks.

“Hypothermia is a major concern for anyone who is in areas where they could fall into open water,” adds McClure. “Quinte Conservation warns the public that stream banks should be avoided in the winter. Ice and snow make footing unpredictable and frigid open water conditions are extremely dangerous. Areas around dams, culverts and bridges should be avoided.”

Quinte Conservation does not measure ice thickness for recreational activities but the organization provides information on watershed safety conditions.

McClure notes the milder temperatures could cause some localized or nuisance flooding of smaller creeks and ditches.

“Some low-lying land may see some ponded water. Residents should take care to monitor their sump pumps and ensure they are in good working condition during this type of weather.”

More information about Quinte Conservation is available at www.quinteconservation.ca.

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