The City of Toronto reminds everyone that fluctuating weather conditions this time of year can pose dangers to people near local waterways. Flooding, if it occurs, may threaten human life and property.
Accumulating rain and snow will increase the danger from creeks, streams and flood retention ponds as water levels can rise and fall quickly. Precipitation can produce slippery surfaces as riverbanks and waterways become muddy and icy, and receding water levels can create similar conditions.
City of Toronto Fire Services advises people to:
· listen to media reports for flood conditions before going near waterways
· stay at least three (3) meters (10 feet) from the edge of a waterway during rainy weather
· take a friend along if you go for a hike
· do not attempt to rescue friends or pets from a river if they fall in because the force of the river current may also overcome you, and
· call 911 for help immediately. Too often, such a crisis becomes a rescue of not one but two people from a river.
Wind can also pose a problem. For people who have mobility difficulties, walking along shorelines in winter can be especially tricky:
· if you are going out for a walk, let someone know where you are going and when you will be back
· young children should always be within arm's reach near water and natural ice
· it is imperative that parents keep their children and pets away from the shorelines and off thin ice on waterways.
· when going out for a walk with a pet, keep the pet on a leash. A retractable leash will ensure that the pet always stays under control and will prevent it from wandering onto unsafe ice on a pond, lake or river.