Flooding concerns have the Grand River Conservation Authority warning residents to steer clear of rivers, ponds and lakes.

Melting snow and significant rainfall – up to 20 millimetres expected between Monday morning and Tuesday morning – have flood-watchers concerned about what could happen to local waterways.

“Even though it was warm Saturday and Sunday, it took until Monday before we saw much response from the rivers and streams,” says Dave Schultz of the GRCA.

“Then you throw some rain on top of that, which not only causes more water but can sometimes make the snow melt faster too.”

The amount of rain falling Monday night and into Tuesday morning is what will ultimately determine flooding levels, but residents in low-lying areas are being warned to prepare just in case.

Schultz says water levels were in good shape for the rain thanks to reservoirs running at between 10 and 40 per cent of capacity.

“We can take a lot of that water in, and that keeps the flood levels downstream even lower,” he says.

Cambridge firefighters are also warning people to be careful near water, as fluctuating temperatures can cause sudden breaks in ice.

“You could fall through into the water,” says platoon chief Brad Grimwood.

“It’s so hazardous at this time of year.”

The GRCA says it will monitoring water levels overnight and will issue warnings as necessary.