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Water woes of the spring season


Frozen rivers can quickly turn into fast-flowing ones
Frozen rivers can quickly turn into fast-flowing ones

Sana Ahmed, staff writer

April 4, 2011 — High water levels during the spring season can pose serious threats to public safety. Toronto Conservation Authority has helpful tips on how to deal with some of these dangers.

Changing your landscape can help prevent flooding
Changing your landscape can help prevent flooding

As temperatures climb, melting snow and precipitation become the main causes of rising water levels and, in some cases, flooding. Especially around this time every year, people should be vigilant of the risks associated with rising waters.

Laurian Farrell of the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority warns that areas close to fast-flowing rivers can be dangerous places if one is not careful.

“The banks are very soft and very slippery, so it's easy to fall in,” explains Farrell. “If, for some reason, you do see someone go into the water, the best thing you can do is call 911 immediately.”

It's important not to go into the water yourself because along with the rainfall also comes a lot of debris and moving obstacles. It can become extremely difficult to maintain control of your body if you are in this type of fast moving water.

Avoid going near rapidly-moving rivers
Avoid going near rapidly-moving rivers

A significant issue related to rising water levels is encountering water on roads. At this time of year, it can be deceitfully deep. This is especially the case after sundown. Potholes or washouts that lurk beneath the water often result in cars getting stuck -- or worse, motorists getting into an unwelcome accident.

“The best you can do if you're driving and you see water is to turn around and take another route,” says Farrell.

Another risk is flooding. Officials say the best thing a homeowner can do to prevent a soggy basement, is to make yourself aware of the condition of your house.

“What we want homeowners to do is go around and inspect their basement walls, doors or windows. Check floors or foundations for any cracks where they may have noticed leaks coming in before,” says Lou Di Gironimo, General Manager of Toronto Water.

As heavy rain continues to be a more common pattern in the upcoming months, it will undoubtedly bring with it the risk of high water levels and flooding. So, it's essential that people take their time while driving and stay away from water areas. It's also important to keep an emergency kit at home at all times.

With files from Andrea Stockton

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