City warns Hamiltonians of flood risk amid winter thaw

The city is asking Hamilton residents to take a number of steps this weekend to prevent flooding in their homes.

Officials provide tips on how to prevent water from seeping into Hamilton homes

The bitter cold this winter is putting a bigger burden on social service agencies as they work to accommodate anyone who needs shelter. (Cory Ruf/CBC)

The city is asking Hamilton residents to take steps this weekend to prevent flooding, as mid-winter melt foists wet, slippery conditions onto southern Ontario.

Hamiltonians awoke on Saturday to grey, rainy skies and unseasonably mild temperatures — just days after lows of below -20 C throttled the city.

The messy weather is expected to continue for the rest of the day. A high of 3 C is in the forecast for Saturday, with a 60 per cent chance of rain in the late evening, Environment Canada says.

The combination of the rain and the sudden thaw has prompted the city to encourage residents to take a number of steps to prevent flooding in their homes and elsewhere on their properties.

Here’s a list officials have provided on how to prepare:

  • Keep catch basins clear of snow, ice and debris and uncover fire hydrants near your home
  • If your home has a backwater valve installed on the sewer, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning to ensure that it is functioning properly
  • Check your sump pump to make sure it is working properly
  • If your home or area is prone to flooding you may want to consider ensuring any valuables are up off of basement floors
  • Keep your eaves troughs clean. When your eaves troughs are blocked, the rain will pour over the edges landing on the ground next to your home. If you have cracks in the concrete wall of your basement or problems with your weeping tile, this water could enter your home

The wet conditions in Hamilton are set to drag on into next week, with further precipitation and highs above the freezing mark in the forecast for Sunday and Monday.

Environment Canada expects clouds and a 30 per cent chance of flurries on Sunday morning, with the skies clearing in the afternoon. A high of 2 C is expected for the day.

Clouds, a high of 4 C and 60 per cent chance of rain showers or snow are in the forecast for Monday.

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