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Toronto and Region Conservation updates terminology for flood messages

Feb 23, 2012

(Toronto, February 22) Effective February 2012, TRCA will be using new terminology for flood and water safety messages. The new terminology is being adopted by TRCA, other Conservation Authorities across Ontario and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR). These changes will ensure that messages are consistent and in line with severe weather terminology used by other agencies such as Environment Canada and the Weather Network.

The TRCA issues three levels of messages:

Watershed Conditions Statement

(Previously High Water Safety Bulletin): a general notice of weather conditions that could pose a risk to personal safety or which have the potential to lead to flooding. There are two variations of these:


Watershed Conditions Statement - Water Safety: High flows, unsafe banks, melting ice or other factors could be dangerous for recreational users such as anglers, canoeists, hikers, children, pets, etc. Flooding is not expected.

Watershed Conditions Statement - Flood Outlook: 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(Previously Flood Advisory): Flooding is possible in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should prepare.

Flood Warning(No change): 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

The new terms were developed by a committee of representatives of Conservation Authorities, Conservation Ontario, the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment Canada and other agencies. Monitoring weather and flood conditions is a shared responsibility of Conservation Authorities, OMNR, and Environment Canada. The OMNR Surface Water Monitoring Centre in Peterborough monitors weather forecasts and water levels across the province, providing the information to Conservation Authorities. Other information is also available from Environment Canada. When flooding is possible or about to occur, TRCA issues flood messages to municipal emergency management officials and the media. Municipal officials then take action to warn local residents.

Flood messages are posted in the Flood Forecasting section of TRCA's website. For additional information please contact TRCA's 24 Hr Flood Line at 416-661-6514 or 416.661.6600 ext 5697 or follow us on Twitter (@TRCA_News).


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Media contact:

Elizabeth Oakley
Tel: 416-661-6600 ext 5856

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