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MVCA raises concern over Frazil Ice

by | Jan 14, 2019 | Local News | 0 comments

The recent cold weather is creating conditions ideal for the formation of frazil ice anywhere there is open, fast flowing water.

(Note: Frazil ice is soft ice formed by the accumulation of ice crystals in water that is too turbulent to freeze solid.)

Areas within the Mississippi Valley watershed that have been historically prone to frazil ice are the Mississippi River near Innisville and from Carleton Place through to Pakenham. Frazil ice can cause significant fluctuations in water levels as it builds and releases. Since it can form anywhere that there is open water, it is difficult to predict where or when it can occur and the impact it may have on the river.

Residents are strongly urged to stay off all ice covered water bodies but especially in these areas that have historically had issues with frazil ice. Parents are advised to remind children about the dangers of playing on or near ice covered surfaces or fast flowing water. Hypothermia is a major concern for anyone playing in areas where they could potentially fall into open water. MVCA does not monitor ice conditions anywhere throughout the watershed.

This Watershed Conditions Statement is valid through January 15, 2019. Additional statements will be issued when or if conditions are expected to change significantly from this outlook.

Daily water levels and flows are available on the MVCA website at

The MVCA flood forecasting and warning program monitors weather conditions, snowpack water content, estimates expected river flows and water levels and issues flood advisories or warnings as required. MVCA provides early warning and continuous monitoring to municipal and provincial emergency response personnel through a flood event.

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