FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                        March 1, 2004

Flood Warning Program Ready

Lower Trent Conservation (LTC) is keeping a close eye on weather forecasts and water levels of local rivers and streams as spring-like conditions have started to move in to the region. Mild daytime temperatures combined with the precipitation forecasts for this week could initiate the spring runoff.

LTC is responsible for providing advance warning of potential flooding to local municipalities and the general public. While flooding can happen at any time of the year, spring is the time when flooding most often occurs.

Conservation staff monitor weather forecasts and water levels throughout the year. Four remote stations record hourly water level data along local streams as well as precipitation and temperature information. During the winter, snow surveys are conducted every 15 days to determine ground conditions, depth of snow and its water content. This information, along with historical records, provides LTC staff with critical information needed to predict the potential for flooding.

Following the survey of snow conditions today, there is approximately 25centimetres (approximately 10 inches) of snow on the ground. Taking the water content of the snow into consideration, the snow pack can be translated to be equivalent to about 2.5 inches of water. This means if all the snow melted instantly, in addition to any precipitation, there would be a further 2.5 inches of water that would runoff into area streams & rivers.

The public and municipalities are urged to pay close attention to flood-related messages issued by LTC. LTC uses three types of messages depending on the degree of flooding that is anticipated – bulletins, advisories and warnings. They are:

Watershed Conditions Bulletins - A general notice to raise public awareness that a change in current water levels is possible.

Flood Advisory - A notice of the potential for flooding to occur in low-lying areas with minor flooding of access roads, backyards and basements possible. Buildings and people are not at risk.

Flood Warning - A notice that flooding is imminent or occurring. Property damages or risk to public safety is anticipated.

- 30 -

For more information, contact:

Marilyn Bucholtz, Marketing & Communications

(613) 394-3915 ext.16