Unlike recent years, conservation authority officials say the Chatham-Kent area has experienced an ideal spring, as far as the Thames River is concerned.
All of the snow is now gone from the upper Thames watershed and conditions have been “pretty dry,” according to Jason Wintermute, manager of watershed and information services for the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority.
Even with the recent rain, which was heavy at times, the river still held up, he added.
“So there wasn’t any concern for flooding from the Thames River, ” he told The Daily News. “Even on our local watercourses, the 25 millimetres of rainfall forecast wouldn’t have been a big concern.
“The ground was pretty dry and could soak up quite a bit water. However, the rain was heavier than expected, particularly around the city where we got closer to 40 to 50 mm.”
Wintermute added that local waterways have now peaked from the rain and most were dropping.
“McGregor Creek and Indian Creek rose quite a bit,” he said, “but McGregor Creek still had a half metre or more of rise before we would have started to operate the diversion channel. In terms of flooding, it’s been an ideal spring, really.”
The river has had its share of issues over the years, most recently being a 2019 ice jam at the mouth that resulted in a localized state of emergency as a precaution.
In 2018, there was another state of emergency, but with more widespread flooding and damage.
However, this season, Wintermute said a “nice slow melt” thawed out the ice on the river without any jams and melted the snowpack without any significant flooding.
“But as I said, it has been drier than usual. We’ll just have to see what that means for the rest of the spring,” he said. “As we move into spring, it’s really all about how much rain we get.”
Much of the week is expected to remain relatively dry, except for Wednesday, which has a 60 per cent chance of rain showers or flurries.
Temperatures will also flip between warm and cool, with a high of 18 C on Tuesday, 5 C on Wednesday and 4 C on Thursday before returning to the mid-teens on the weekend.