River Breakup Advisory

River Breakup Advisory

April 12, 2018

The Peace River thaw was seen to be passing Shaftesbury shortly before 2pm today.

Crews have been monitoring the ice melt for the last 24-hours and will continue to monitor the thaw it as it passes through town. We anticipate no issues at this time. We’re advising and cautioning people to please avoid the river banks and low lying areas, the remaining ice is extremely fragile and water levels may fluctuate.

Background

April 10, 2018
Alberta Environment and Parks has issued a River Ice Advisory in advance of breakup on the Peace River at the Town of Peace River.

A ground observation located the Peace River ice front at km 367.7 on April 10 at 7:40 MST. This location is 3 km upstream of the Shaftesbury Ferry, and 28 km upstream of the Highway 2 bridge in the Town of Peace River. River breakup on the Peace River has been slow so far, as cold temperatures in late March and early April delayed the ice front retreat. With temperatures rising to near seasonal this week, the ice front retreat has accelerated to approximately 7 km/day. Based on this observation, and the current forecast, breakup in the Town of Peace River is expected between Thursday and Friday. As breakup occurs, water and ice levels in the Peace River can fluctuate rapidly.

Although the snowpack in the Smoky River basin is much above average, water levels on the Little Smoky and Smoky rivers are holding steady as below seasonal air temperatures continue to delay the snowmelt runoff. The ice cover on the Smoky and Little Smoky rivers remain intact. Deterioration of the ice cover on these rivers has not yet impacted the ice conditions or water levels on the Peace River.

At this time, breakup of the Peace River is proceeding thermally. Water levels in the Town of Peace River are not expected to rise significantly as the river breaks up.

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