Flood Forecasting & Warning

Current Flood Status

Normal watershed conditions

Inland lakes and streams

Normal watershed conditions

Lake Ontario & St. Lawrence River

Most Recent Flood Messages

Click on the icon above to view the most recent flood messages.

Lake Ontario Flood Info

MNRF flood forecasting and warning page. Information for Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River.

Water Level Range Info

Water level range information for inland lakes and streams in the CRCA jurisdiction. For Lake Ontario information see Flooding Info and FAQ at the bottom of this page.

Flooding - River spilling its banks

Conservation Authority Roles & Responsibilities

The CRCA, in cooperation with local municipalities and the Province, plays an important role in protecting life and property from natural hazards such as flooding. Working with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and Environment Canada, the CRCA is responsible for monitoring and predicting flood flows and water levels within our jurisdiction, operating flood control structures such as dams and disseminating flood messages to local municipalities and agencies.

Conservation Authorities use data gathered from stream gauges, weather stations, snow surveys, meteorological forecasts and computer models to forecast potential floods.

Programs and services to prevent and control flooding offered by Conservation Authorities include:

  • monitoring conditions
  • computer modeling and forecasting flooding
  • issuing flood messages
  • regulation of development in flood prone areas
  • provide planning support and advice to municipalities to minimize the impact of flooding
  • protecting significant ecosystems such as wetlands and forests that help to control flooding; and education the public

Flooding Information, FAQ's & Links

Current and forecast Lake Ontario water level information

The federal government and International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board (ILOSLRB) monitors Lake Ontario levels and provides forecasts for future conditions. This information is available at http://www.waterlevels.gc.ca/C&A/recent-forecast-eng.html and at https://ijc.org/en/loslrb/watershed/forecasts.

For current water level conditions on Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River visit https://ijc.org/en/loslrb/watershed/current-conditions

Kingston real time water levels – 613-544-9264 or visit Fisheries and Oceans Canada water levels page. For water level elevation: height in metres (e.g. 1.32) + 74.2 – 0.036 = 75.48 m water elevation above sea level, Geodetic Survey of Canada (GSC).

Brockville real time water levels – 613-345-0095 or visit Fisheries and Oceans Canada water levels page. For water level elevation: height (in metres) + 73.95 – 0.016 = water elevation above sea level (GSC)

Website – https://ijc.org/en/loslrb
Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/InternationalLakeOntarioStLawrenceRiverBoard

Environment Canada Marine Weather Forecast – https://weather.gc.ca/marine/region_e.html?mapID=11

Factors that influence Lake Ontario water levels

There are three types of water level fluctuations – long-term, seasonal, short-period, and wind generated waves. These fluctuations are explained at http://www.waterlevels.gc.ca/C&A/fluctuations-eng.html. There are also natural factors that affect water levels, they are also explained at http://www.waterlevels.gc.ca/C&A/natural-factors-eng.html. The Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority does not control Lake Ontario water levels.

Video – Causes of 2017 Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Flood – Produced by the International Joint Commission. Recap of 2017 conditions and explanation of how water levels are managed on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.

International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board (International Joint Commission)

The water levels on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River are currently well above average for this time of year. Shoreline residents should take care as these high water levels, combined with high winds and waves, could cause erosion and damage to their shoreline and shoreline infrastructure. For further details on water level data and frequently asked questions please see the links below:

Ontario Flood Forecasting & Warning

Provincial Watershed Conditions Statement for Lake Ontario issued by the Surface Water Monitoring Centre of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry on Tuesday April 23, 2019 . For details see the Ontario Flood Map website listed below.

What should I do if I want to protect my property from erosion?

  • Contact a CRCA Development Officer by emailing info@crca.ca. The Development Officer can discuss your options for protecting your shoreline.
  • If current high water levels are causing shoreline erosion on your property, please take photos to document your losses. This will assist in evaluating future repairs to the shoreline.
  • This is not the optimal time for performing in-water work along the shoreline. High water levels combined with wind and wave action will make it difficult to work.
  • CRCA approval is required under Ontario Regulation 148/06 prior to any work on a shoreline. CRCA staff will work to issue permissions in an expedited manner.
  • Residents are encouraged to contact other agencies such as the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and the Fisheries and Oceans Canada prior to initiating any shoreline works to ensure that their project is compliant with applicable legislation.


If lake levels are approaching a building, a sandbag berm may be appropriate. It takes an average of 600 sandbags to cover a 100 foot section, 1-foot high. To purchase sandbags call your local hardware store or contact one of the following companies (note: availability and price are subject to change):

  • Burtex Industries, Weston ON 1-800-268-0908 – Cost per sandbag ranges from $0.59-$1.11 cost based on 1,000+ bags, shipping is extra.
  • Marathon Watch Company, Richmond Hill ON 1-800-822-4329 – Cost per sandbag $2.50 plus shipping.
  • Polytarp Products, Toronto ON 1-800-606-2231 – $79.35 case of 250 (17×28) $80.00 case of 200 (20×30) – Minimum order of $600, shipping is extra.

You can also contact your municipality for further information regarding sandbags.

See the video below produced by Quinte Conservation for directions on how to build a sandbag wall.


Building a sandbag wall is an effective method to protect your home and property from rising water levels during a flooding event. Approximately 600 filled sandbags are required to create a wall approximately 30 m (100 ft) in length by 0.3 m ( 1 ft) in height.

CRCA does not distribute sand or sandbags to municipalities, the public or other agencies. Please contact your municipality directly for more information on the availability of sand and sandbags within your municipality.

After a flood, the sandbags will need to be removed. Sand that contacts flood water may be contaminated with oil, gasoline, sewage, or other contaminants, and should be treated as hazardous waste for disposal. Dumping sand from used sandbags onto your private property is not recommended, and it is not permitted to dump sand into a watercourse, wetland, or floodplain. Please contact your municipality or local landfill for more information on disposal methods. Re-using sandbags is not recommended because the material can deteriorate over time.

Sandbags can be purchased from the private bulk supplies listed below, and local hardware stores may also sell sandbags. The contact information is subject to change.

Burtex Industries: 66 Bartor Road Weston ON. Tel: 1-416-745-2711. Toll Free: 1-800-268-0908. Fax: 1-416-740-2261. Email: farrellent@aol.com

Les Abris Harnois (Harnois Shelters): 507 Route 158 St. Thomas QC. Tel: 1-866-661-6646. Fax: 1-450-755-6878

Marathon Watch Company Ltd: 1-8355 Jane Street Vaughan ON. Tel: 1-905-764-9420. Toll Free: 1-800-822-4329.  Email: info@marathonwatch.com

Polytarp Products: 350 Wildcat Road Toronto ON. Tel: 1-416-633-2231 ext. 280. Toll Free: 1-800-606-2231 Email: ikohl@polytarp.com

Creatium Inc: Quebec, Canada. Tel. 866-500-5706 or 833-722-5391. Email: contact form at www.creatium.ca

Private companies that offer proprietary flood control products are listed below. CRCA does not have experience using these products for flood control. The contact information is subject to change.

MegaSecur Inc. – Water-Gate barrier
Tel: 1-819-751-0222
Toll Free: 1-888-756-0222
Fax: 1-819-751-5550
Email: info@megasecur.com
Website: www.water-gate.com

Fontaine Aquanox – Flood Fencing
Tel: 1-819-769-0157
Toll Free: 1-855-769-0157
Email: info@iseaquanox.com
Website: www.fontaine-aquanox.com

Harbour Water Barriers
Tel: 519-971-2552
Email: sales@harbourwaterbarriers.com
Website: www.harbourwaterbarriers.com

The video below was produced by Quinte Conservation, and it provides details on how to properly build a sandbag wall.

What are you seeing? Please let us know (e.g. flooding, erosion, etc.)

Are you experiencing flooding or erosion on your property? Have you made an observation that could enhance understanding of high water impacts for the Cataraqui Region? CRCA is collecting information with a quick online survey below. Note that all submissions will only be used internally for data analysis.

Public survey to report high water levels to the CRCA
I will be emailing photos of the conditions I am seeing *
email photos to info@crca.ca

Flood Messages & What They Mean

When flooding is possible, or about to occur, the CRCA issues flood messages to municipal emergency management officials, the media and the public. In a flooding emergency situation, municipalities take the lead as they are responsible for emergency reponse under provincial legislation. Each municipality has an emergency response plan which deals with many situations including flooding.

Click the tabs below for a description of each flood message level

Normal watershed conditions

Normal: No flood conditions exist

water safety flood level

Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety: High flows, unsafe banks, melting ice or other factors that could be dangerous for recreational users such as anglers, canoeists, hikers, children, pets, etc. Flooding is not expected.

Flood outlook level

Watershed Conditions Statement – Flood Outlook: Early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high wind or other conditions that could lead to high runoff, cause ice jams, lakeshore flooding or erosion.

Flood watch level

Flood Watch: Flooding is possible in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should prepare.

Flood warning level

Flood Warning: Flooding is imminent or already occurring in specific watercourses or municipalities.