London homeowners advised to take precautions ahead of 36 hours of rain

London homeowners are being asked to check their basement sump pumps and backwater valves in an effort to preclude potential flooding as forecasters predict a mix of ice pellets, freezing rain and rain over the next 36 hours.

Officials with the City of London anticipate 14 mm of rain over the next 36 hours

City officials will be checking catch basins in flood-prone areas of the city to make sure they aren't clogged with snow like this one, ahead of rains anticipated over the next 36 hours. (Colin Butler/CBC News)

London homeowners are being asked to check their basement sump pumps and backwater valves in an effort to preclude potential flooding as forecasters predict a mix of ice pellets, freezing rain and rain over the next 36 hours. 

Environment Canada is predicting periods of ice pellets starting on Wednesday morning, changing to periods of rain in the afternoon as temperatures rise to levels well above freezing. 

The showers will continue on Thursday, according to forecasters, which is predicted to change into a steady rain on Thursday night. 

"We're looking at a projection of 14 mm over the next 36 hours. A lot of that will be absorbed into the existing snow pack," said Rick Pedlow, the city's manager of sewer operations. 

"We shouldn't really see a great impact outside of that existing snow." 

How to help flood-proof your basement

Rain anticipated on Wednesday and Thursday could create messy conditions for drivers. (CBC)

Homeowners are being asked to make sure their sump pumps and backwater valves are in good working order to mitigate any potential problems. 

"You can also remove snow from the foundation area around your home, window wells as an example, access points where snow melt and rain water might access the foundation of a home easily, those are the areas you want to focus on over the next few days," Pedlow said. 

While the city will be dispatching crews to clear catch basins in low-lying areas that are known to be prone to flooding, Pedlow is also telling homeowners to be cautious about clearing catch basins on their own street.

"I want people to be very mindful of their own safety, their own health. It's very heavy, heavy snow," he said. "Just being out on the road, you have to be aware of the motorists and the traffic around you. 

"We're not expecting it, it's very helpful, but if it seems doable and a citizen can clear off a catch basin, that's very helpful to the city and to motorists." 

As temperatures rise, pipes that have frozen during the deep freeze are more likely to thaw and potentially burst. If it's in your own home, you might want to call a plumber, but Pedlow says if it's a city water main gushing up through the asphalt, people are advised to call city dispatch at 519-661-4965.