The Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority and Ottawa Police warn residents – no ice is safe ice.

With the temperatures quickly warming, the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) and the Ottawa Police are reminding residents to be wary around ice and open bodies of water during this time of year.

“The change in seasons means melting snow and rain,” says Sgt. Walt Lushman of the Ottawa Police Service’s Marine, Dive and Trails (MDT) Unit. “We can expect an increase in groundwater runoff and possible flooding to weaken ice surfaces, making ice condition unpredictable and dangerous.”

As the ice thins, residents are urged to keep away from open bodies of water or thin ice to avoid potential hypothermia or drowning.

As per the 1-10-1 Principle of cold water immersion, it only takes 1 minute for cold shock to set in, 10 minutes for cold incapacitation to occur, and an hour before passing out due to hypothermia.

Although no flooding is expected to take place at the moment, the MVCA reminds residents in flood prone areas to keep an eye on water levels and remember to take necessary precautions.

Home owners are being advised to:

  • Keep their sump pumps clear and in working order
  • Always have a portable generator and backup pump available.
  • Keep downspouts clear and the outlet at least 3 metres from structures.
  • Secure or remove anything at risk of being carried by currents.

For more information on flood safety and flood status, visit the MVCA website or check out the Ottawa Police Website for tips on ice safety.


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