Safety Advisory: Residents and businesses along the Exploits River advised to prepare for spring runoff and potential flooding

Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro (Hydro) is encouraging residents and business owners along the Exploits River in central Newfoundland to take precautions as there is an increased risk of flooding due to high water levels.

Heavy run-off from melting snow and ice means that water levels and flows along the river are higher than normal. As part of its active watershed management, Hydro has started releasing water from Red Indian Lake to make room for the spring melt.

While there are no areas of concern at the present time, a sudden warm spell combined with heavy rains could increase the risk of  flooding.

The spring runoff is heavier than usual due to the large amounts of snow this winter. Since climatic factors, such as rainfall and weather temperatures, can quickly influence the rate of snowmelt, Hydro wants to make people aware so they can be prepared.

As a precautionary measure, property owners living near the river are advised to consider potential flooding risks in and around their properties and to take steps to minimize the risk of damage. As well, hikers and visitors should be extremely careful near the river area. People are reminded that water levels may rise unexpectedly and they (and their pets) should stay safely back from the river banks, which may be slippery or subject to erosion from the spring runoff.

The Exploits River is the largest and longest river on the island (246km), spanning from Notre Dame Bay to the Long Range Mountains. It has a drainage area of over 12,000 km.

Hydro, along with Fire and Emergency Services (FES-NL) and Water Resources Management Division, Department of Environment and Conservation, is monitoring water levels and weather conditions and will provide updates as necessary.

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Steps to prevent flooding during spring runoff:

  • Clear culverts, drains and catch basins to help water drain as snow and ice melt.
  • Shovel or remove snow from around your home and move it to a position where water will drain away from the foundation.
  • Clear channels in the ice/snow in your garden and property to allow water to drain away more effectively.
  • Check to make sure your sump pump is working. If you don’t have a sump pump consider installing one. Contact a plumber for assistance, if required.
  • Check your basement regularly for signs of water and consider installing a water-sensing alarm if your home or business is prone to flooding.