Be Aware of Flood Risks due to Thunderstorms

Flooded river with water levels reaching the bottom of a bridge with cars splashing water as they drive by.

How Flooding Works

Summer and thunderstorms go hand in hand. While rain brings fresh air and provides a nice watering to plants, it’s important to remember there’s an increased risk of flooding during thunderstorms.

A flooded area of grass next to a forest.
It is estimated that flood damages in Ontario exceed $30 million per year.

Thunderstorms can develop suddenly during the warmer months and are often accompanied by strong winds, hail, lightning and heavy rain. They are challenging to predict because they can come on with little warning. Thunderstorms can be very intense for a very short period of time in a localized area causing flooding of river banks, roads, properties and sewer backup in basements.

Riverine flooding occurs when rivers and streams rise over their banks and spill into the surrounding land. With high-intensity summer thunderstorms, the Credit River, its tributaries and other small creeks in CVC’s jurisdiction can rise with little warning, especially in urban areas.

Flood Warning and Forecasting

We operate a network of 59 real-time monitoring stations throughout the Credit River Watershed, strategically placed to send vital information about current environmental conditions, allowing us to better understand, predict and warn about flooding, threats to water quality and low water levels. If significant rainfall is forecasted, our Flood Duty Officer completes a flood risk assessment to determine if a flood message should be issued.

When flooding is possible or about to occur, we issue flood warning messages to municipal emergency management officials and the media about the potential threat to people and property. Municipal officials then take action to warn residents and provide emergency services as needed. These messages can be found on our homepageFacebook account and Twitter account.

Learn more about our Flood Forecasting and Warning Program.

Flooding along an urban street.
Climate scientists predict more extreme rainfall events in the future.

Stay Informed, Stay Safe

  • Stay away from riverbanks and avoid recreational activities in watercourses during storm events, especially thunderstorms.
  • Do not drive through, stand, or walk in moving water. Avoid low-lying areas such as road underpasses and walkways.
  • Stay informed on storm events such as thunderstorms through local radio, television, mobile or other public alerting systems.
  • If you are instructed by emergency officials to evacuate due to flooding, do so immediately.
  • If you are in danger, call 911 immediately.
  • Stay informed with the Alertable app. Alertable is a Canadian public emergency alert system that offers CVC flood alerts in real-time, right to your mobile device. It’s free via the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Know who to Contact During a Flood

If you see any potential property damage, call your insurance representative as soon as possible.

If water rises above your electrical outlets, baseboard heaters or furnace, or if it’s near your electrical panel:

  • Brampton/Mississauga: Call Alectra at 1-833-253-2872

  • Caledon: Call Hydro One at 1-800-434-1235

  • Halton Hills: Call Halton Hills Hydro at 519-853-3701

  • Orangeville: Call Orangeville Hydro at 519-942-8000

To report localized flooding on municipal roads, blocked storm sewer grates or basement flooding:

  • Brampton/Caledon/Mississuaga: Call 3-1-1

  • Halton Hills: Call 905-873-2600 ext. 2603

  • Orangeville: Call 519-941-0440 and follow prompts for Public Works

To report high water levels in rivers and streams:

  • Call CVC at 905-670-1615 between 8:30 and 4:30 (Monday to Friday) and ask for the Flood Duty Officer.

If you require assistance due to high water levels or flooding, contact your municipality. For emergencies requiring police, fire or ambulance, call 9-1-1.

To report sanitary sewer flooding (when wastewater or sewage from the sewer pipe that runs from your home to region’s main sanitary sewer pipe backs up into your home):

  • Region of Peel: Call 905-791-7800

  • Halton Region: Call 1-866-442-5866

  • Orangeville: Call 519-941-0440 and follow prompts for Public Works

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