UPDATED: Flooding Concerns This Weekend

Flooding is a very real concern this long weekend.

The rain that began falling on Thursday morning isn't expected to let up until Saturday, and Environment Canada says it could also be mixed with some wet snow on Friday.

The latest warning suggests 50 mm of rain could fall by Saturday.

The MNR also reported late Wednesday that the amount of water equivalent in the snow that has yet to melt is still far above average for this time of year, with up to 200 mm of water equivalent in the snow pack in some parts of the Ottawa Valley.

The MNR has issued a flood watch just west of the Valley, in the North Bay and Mattawa areas, but they say anyone in low lying areas in Renfrew County could also experience flooding.

In addition to that, as tributaries to the Ottawa River rise with the melting snow and heavy rain, the Ottawa River levels are also expected to be high after the rain storm moves through.

Ottawa River Regulating Secretariat spokesman Michael Sarich says they could approach levels that we saw in the beginning of April 2017, which is the same month where levels kept rising, leading to widespread flooding later in the month.

"We are looking, then for tributaries to pick up very strongly, and for the snow melt to begin in earnest", Sarich told Star 96.7.

Sarich says the impact will depend on the precise path that rain storm takes.

"Where that will lead really depends on the amount of precipitation received", Sarich added.

He says one area of concern is downstream from Pembroke.

"Below Pembroke, down through the Westmeath, Lac-Coulonge areas;  typically there's a lot of constriction in the channels in those areas, and there's a lot of snow still in those areas as well", Sarich said.

"We'll just have to wait and see".

Property owners are urged to keep a close eye on the changing conditions this weekend and to stay up to speed on the watches and warnings from both Environment Canada and the MNR.

Flood risk reports are being updated at:

http://ontario.ca/flooding

River levels are being updated at

http://ottawariver.ca

Environment Canada also warns people not to approach washouts near rivers, creeks and culverts, and to keep children and pets away from creeks and river banks.