Parks Canada says high water levels on the Rideau Canal this spring have forced it to temporarily close several lock stations to ensure public safety. It says excessive run off caused by heavy rains and a late snowmelt are major contributors to the excess of water.
Effective 4 p.m. on May 26, the following lock stations are closed to navigation until high waters have subsided to ‘safe levels': Hogs Back, Black Rapids, Long Island, Burritts Rapids, Lower Nicholsons, Upper Nicholsons, Clowes, Merrickville, Kilmarnock, Edmonds, Old Slys, Smiths Falls Combined and Smiths Falls Detached.
In order to restore water levels to their normal levels, Parks Canada says reservoir lakes are being filled as necessary, dam operations are happening daily, and over the course of the next few weeks, levels will begin to stabilize.
"We plan to open for navigation on Friday, May 30 but several factors may affect this current plan, including rain fall,' says Paul Galipeau, a Communications Officer for Parks Canada. "Parks Canada will advise the public as soon as water levels will allow for safe navigation; and when the locks will be operational again.'
Parks Canada is also warning boaters that high water flows around water control structures such as dams and spillways can be hazardous and should be avoided at all times.
Not all of the lock stations on the Rideau Canal closed. The following locations remain in function during normal operating hours: Ottawa Locks, Hartwells, Poonamalie, Beveridges, Narrows, Newboro, Chaffeys, Davis, Jones Falls, Upper Brewers, Lower Brewers and Kingston Mills.
The Rideau Canal's 182nd navigation season began on May 16 and many boaters have already begun utilizing the waterway.