Expect High Ottawa River Levels Into June

We can expect several more weeks of high water levels along the Ottawa River. 

The Ottawa River Regulating Committee says this week’s release of water downstream from Temiskaming that’s driven levels up in Mattawa, and back up in Pembroke and Westmeath, is only the beginning. 

More releases are expected as the remaining northern snowpack keeps filling those reservoirs.

Regulating Committee spokesperson Michael Sarich says that means we’ll see unusually high levels, into the month of June.

"It's absolutely unusual", Sarich told Star 96.7.

"To have such high peaks so early, and then to have ongoing precipitation maintain higher levels, that's very unusual".

Sarich says the rain that’s in the forecast Thursday won’t help, and he’s urging property owners to keep a close eye on the river. 

Mattawa declared a state of emergency this week because of the influx of water up there from those reservoir releases, which sent levels in that town up by almost 2 feet in one night alone.

While the level increase isn't expected to be as dramatic along our part of the Ottawa River, it will remain high.

"Snowpack runoff in the northern sectors is just really getting started", Sarich said.

"Unfortunately, all of that water has to pass through the system.  So we're looking at high water for the next several weeks".