Conservation officials are closely monitoring local water levels.

Heavy rains and warm temperatures are expected to cause levels in streams and rivers across the Grand River watershed to rise over the course of the week.

According to a statement from the Grand River Conservation Authority, 75 to 100 millimetres of rain will likely fall between now and Thursday.

The GRCA anticipates flooding in low-lying areas along the Grand, Conestogo, Nith and Speed Rivers beginning later this week and into the weekend, particularly in the southern parts of the watershed.

High water levels in the Conestogo River have already prompted authorities to close the low-level bridge across the river in St. Jacobs.

Officials are warning people, especially children, to stay away from the rivers.

“Big safety message right now: Stay away from rivers,” says GRCA spokesperson Cam Linwood.

“The ground is really wet right now, really slippery. People can get into trouble in a hurry.”

The GRCA is lowering water levels in its upstream reservoirs in preparation for the rain, creating additional storage for the new rainwater.