The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) is reminding people to exercise extreme caution near bodies of water. The organization issued a warning following average rainfall amounts of 50mm across the watershed on Saturday.

The RVCA says ice cover on lakes, ditches, streams and rivers will be unstable. It noted the rain resulted in significantly elevated water levels and flows.

Smaller creeks and waterways were impacted the most with ‘bankfull’ conditions observed in some areas. The RVCA expects water levels and flows to decline over the next few days as the temperature dips back down to below zero. 

The water safety statement will remain in place until Monday. The warning indicates unstable banks, melting ice and other factors that could be dangerous for recreational users like anglers, canoeists, hikers, children and pets. 

The RVCA Flood Forecasting and Warning team continues to monitor conditions.