Melting snow and rainfall could lead to flooding throughout Windsor-Essex by Thursday, according to a flood outlook issued by the Essex Region Conservation Authority.

The forecast predicts temperatures well above freezing, around six degrees Celsius by Thursday. John Henderson, the water resources manager for ERCA believes the possibility of runoff from melting snow exists through the Essex region. The forecast also calls for 10-15 millimetres of rain, which will increase the runoff potential.

Henderson warns low-lying areas and draining catch basins, standpipes and other surface water drainage inlets could be affected. Accumulated standing water depths can vary dramatically and should be avoided.

The authority also warns that runoff entering and flowing through the open waterways has a high probability of causing ice surfaces to break-up and start to flow. The flowing ice within open waterways could create blockages at bridges and culverts resulting in flooding of the low lying areas adjacent to the waterways, according to the flood outlook.

People should take extra caution and avoid rivers, lakes, ditches, streams and ponds. Flowing water and standing water can be extremely hazardous. The authority also suggests staying off the ice as it will be unstable and dangerous.