Heavy rain warning for Hamilton, Niagara regions; freezing rain and high winds also expected
Residents are being reminded to make sure their sump pumps are working
City crews are preparing for possible flooding, downed trees and icy roads as the region braces for heavy rain over the weekend.
Hamilton, Burlington and Niagara are under a rainfall warning issued by Environment Canada that warns there's a "soaker on tap Saturday."
The warning also says freezing rain is possible Saturday night and strong winds will whip across the region Sunday.
A light drizzle will fall Friday night before becoming heavier through Saturday and heading into Sunday morning, says the weather authority — 40 to 60 mm of rain are possible.
For areas further away from Lake Ontario freezing rain could start falling Saturday evening, but Environment Canada notes there's still "considerable uncertainty" about where exactly that will be.
Very strong southwest winds will also hit the area Sunday morning. The warning says gusts could hit up to 80 km/h around the lake.
The Hamilton Conservation Authority has also put out a flood watch, "given the substantial amount of rain forecasted."
With heavy rain, strong winds and possible freezing rain in the forecast this weekend, the City of Hamilton is preparing to respond to potential flooding, downed trees, icy roads or other hazardous conditions: <a href="https://t.co/Mt8S0yuYPN">https://t.co/Mt8S0yuYPN</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HamOnt?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HamOnt</a>—@cityofhamilton
City workers are out proactively clearing catch basins and inspecting "hot spots" across the Hamilton area and the officials are offering the following tips to help residents protect their homes from flooding:
- Clear snow, ice and debris from catch basins in front of your home.
- If your home has a backwater valve, follow manufacturer's guidelines for cleaning to make sure it's working properly.
- Check your sump pump to make sure it's operating correctly.
- If your home is in an area that's prone to flooding, take any valuables off the basement floor.
Hamilton is also cautioning people to stay away from all bodies of water and warning that roads may flood in low-lying areas.