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Practicing water safety as temperatures drop

Andrea Stockton, staff writer

November 30, 2010 — Heavy rain can push waters to dangerous levels and the drop in temperatures at this time of year makes water safety crucial.

High water levels reported in the Toronto region
High water levels reported in the Toronto region

A large system has been drenching parts of Ontario and Quebec this week and meteorologists at The Weather Network say major fall storms like this are pretty common.

That has conservation and marine authorities on high alert. Water levels can rise significantly with the heavy rain, but the dip in temperature adds to the dangerous conditions.

“The water is about four to five degrees right now and we have a general rule about water and it's a one, ten, one rule, ” says Sergeant Ross Lindsay with the Toronto Police Marine Unit.

“What happens if you fall into the water is you've got one minute to get your breathing under control, ten minutes for meaningful self rescue to get yourself out and call for help and then about one hour before hypothermia sets in,” explains Lindsay.

Ice starting to form on lakes and rivers
Ice starting to form on lakes and rivers

Authorities suggest that residents dress appropriately for the weather and take precaution around the nearby shorelines.

“Whether you're out hiking in the woods or doing other outdoor activities, be aware that the river banks are soggy,” says Lindsay.

Another concern is the ice. As temperatures continue to drop with the arrival of the winter season, ice is beginning to form on several lakes and rivers.

“In our opinion, no ice is safe ice, especially at this time of year,” notes Lindsay.

What will winter bring to your area? Find all the details in the Winter Outlook. You can also stay up-to-date on the weather in your area by heading to our Canadian Cities Index

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