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Kawartha Lakes Flooding FAQ

1. Who is responsible for issuing warnings to the public?

The responsibility for flood contingency planning is shared by Municipalities, Conservation Authorities and the Province of Ontario (Ministry of Natural Resources). As with all emergencies, municipalities have the primary responsibility for the welfare of residents during flood events and may call upon the province for support if required. The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Conservation Authorities are primarily responsible for operating a Flood Forecasting and Warning system which involves issuing messages and providing advice to municipalities.

Flood messages are issued by phone, fax and/or electronic transmission (email) to designated individuals within municipalities, local agencies, school boards and the media. These individuals are responsible for relaying the message to relevant individuals and departments within their organizations and activating their role as defined by the Flood Contingency Plan and their organization's Emergency Response Plan.

2. Messages are often issued but no flooding occurs. Why does this happen?

Weather systems are extremely complex and difficult to predict. However, we rely on the best information available to forecast the potential for flooding within our jurisdiction. This includes information from a variety of climatology sources and we are also in direct contact with Environment Canada meteorologists during an event to receive the latest updates. Precipitation amounts are often less than expected due to a number of factors, including: redirection of an anticipated storm away from our area, dissipation of rainfall prior to the storm reaching our area, false readings on the radar data due to "noise" within the data, and over prediction by the numerical weather prediction models due to the complex nature of weather systems.

3. What should I do if a flood message is issued for my area?

Take heed of the message issued and stay well away from rivers and water bodies. Be prepared to follow the advice and instructions of emergency response authorities. Also, make sure that you have a personal 72 hour survival kit ready for yourself and each member of your family in case you have to evacuate your home or shelter "in place", meaning to use your home as a shield from hazardous environmental conditions.

4. Where can I get current information about water levels or possible flooding?

The City’s website – – includes several links to relevant information including real-time water levels. Residents, business owners and seasonal residents can also get real-time updates via the City’s social media channels on Facebook at and on Twitter at @kawarthalakes.

5. What should I teach my children about flooding?

Children should be made aware of the dangers of flooding waters. It is often difficult to judge the depth of water, and the strength of fast flowing water can be very deceiving. Both adults and children can be quickly overpowered by flood waters. Therefore, the best thing to do during a flood is to stay well back from the edge of the water, pets included.

6. In the event of a flood where can I get sandbags to protect my property?

The Burnt River Public Works Depot is the central location for sandbags as well as the Coboconk Public Works Debot. Sand and bags are also available at the Dalton Recreation Centre.

7. How many sandbags can I take?

The public is encouraged to take as many sandbags as necessary to protect their property. We do ask that all wood pallets and skids be returned to the Depots.

8. What is the proper way to use sandbags to protect my property?

For a demonstration of how to effectively use sandbags to protect your property please view the following video: Sandbag Flooding Video

9. How do I get more information about Flooding in Kawartha Lakes?

Inquiries can be directed to the Communications Office at (705) 324-9411 Ext. 1355 (). Every effort will be made to respond to inquiries in a timely fashion.

10. What number should media call for more information during an event?

Media inquiries should be directed to the Communications Office at (705) 324-9411 Ext. 1355 (). Every effort will be made to respond to media inquiries in a timely fashion.

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