Flood Forecasting

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry (MNRF) and Ontario's Conservation Authorities use the following terminology when issuing flood messaging.  This provides consistency across the province and incorporates the familiar wording used by weather agencies such as Environment Canada and the Weather Network.  

At any time of the year, when there is flooding, the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority can  issue three levels of messages:

WATERSHED CONDITIONS  STATEMENT:  general notices of potential flooding or other conditions that pose a safety  risk. There are two kinds of statements:

  • Water Safety indicates that high  flows, unsafe banks, melting ice or other factors could be dangerous for users such as anglers, boaters, swimmers, children or pets. Flooding is not expected.
  •  Flood Outlook gives early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling  for heavy rain, snow melt, high wind or other conditions that could lead to  high runoff, cause ice jams, lakeshore flooding or erosion.

 FLOOD WATCH notifies that the potential for flooding exists within specific watercourses and municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and  individual landowners in flood-prone areas should prepare.

 FLOOD WARNING: Flooding is imminent or already occurring in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities and individuals should take action to deal with flood  conditions. This may include road closures and evacuations.

Flooding can happen at any time. Heavy rains, snowmelt, spring breakup and ice jams, wind-related storm surges, or the failure of dams can cause flooding.

Flood forecast messages enable the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority and municipalities to prepare for, track and manage  local flooding. Advance warning provides Municipalities with the opportunity to  put emergency plans into operation, evacuate communities if necessary, and  secure property in areas that are more likely to flood.

Monitoring weather and flood conditions is a shared responsibility of Conservation Authorities, MNR, and Environment Canada. When flooding is possible or about to occur, Conservation Authorities issue flood  messages to municipal emergency management officials and the media. The municipal officials then take action to warn local residents.

NBMCA advises the general public through this website with the flood status icon and a link to information about current conditions.  NBMCA also issues these messages to the public through local media, Twitter @theNBMCA and on Facebook.com/NBMCA.  The public is invited to submit photos of any watershed condition to Twitter @theNBMCA or email nbmca@nbmca.on.ca.

MNR also provides flood forecast  messages to Conservation Authorities and municipalities to enable them to  prepare for, track and manage local flooding. A fact sheet and Frequently Asked  Questions are available.

For local information, contact NBMCA at 705-474-5420.

If a flood advisory has been issued for your
area you should:

Retrieve your
Emergency Survival Kit.  

Listen continuously to a battery-operated, portable radio for updated information.

Follow the instructions and advice of local authorities.

Fill your bathtub with clean water as flooding can contaminate water sources. 

Bring in outdoor furniture
and move your furniture and
valuables to higher floors in your home.

If authorities ask, shut off your home’s main power
and close the main
gas valve.