A return to ‘normal’ water levels is still likely to be multiple weeks away, but levels seem to be stabilizing in the Kenora area.
Staff with the Lake of the Woods Control Board say with only short-lived precipitation in this week’s forecast and a general trend of average precipitation in June, inflows into Lake of the Woods are remaining stable or decreasing very slowly.
The board says if this weather pattern continues, it could delay reaching a peak for inflows and a return to normal summer levels will still likely take many weeks. But they note a return to more sustained wet weather could result in a second, higher peak.
Their message comes as levels on Lake of the Woods continue to be above their 2014 peaks but below the record set back in 1950. We’re sitting at 324.09 metres and the record sits at 324.31 metres, for a difference of about 8.5 inches.
But staff note levels are expected to increase by another 0.5 to 2 inches over the next 7 days on Lake of the Woods, which will cause outflows to rise on the Winnipeg River between Kenora and Minaki. Residents along that waterway can expect levels to rise by 1 to 2 inches.
For residents on Lac Seul, levels continue to be over their 95th percentile level but inflows are declining and the lake may have peaked.
Flooding in the region has reached record levels due to heavy spring precipitation and a late snowmelt. According to Environment Canada, Northwestern Ontario saw 312 per cent more precipitation in April and May 2022 compared to last year.
The City of Kenora is asking residents to help report flooding or rising water levels in the area. You’re asked to send an email to email@example.com to report water that is at concerning levels, or flooded roads. You may also call City Hall at 467-2000 between Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.