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Heavy rain and high winds lead to more power outages

Flood watches and warnings are up as the rain continues to fall in Midwestern Ontario.

The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority issued a flood warning for the entire watershed Wednesday afternoon, and the Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority issued a Flood Watch Wednesday evening.

Officials say flooding is expected in the Ausable-Bayfield watershed and rivers and streams were already at or exceeding bank-full conditions. As of Wednesday there was already flooding in traditional flood plains. Officials add more widespread flooding is likely as the rain continues with road closures, washouts, and other flooding issues likely.

The Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority says flooding is inevitable in urban areas, especially near bridges, culverts, and dams. They are urging people to stay away from those structures.

Officials say smaller creeks and larger streams are already close spilling their banks, including in Mount Forest, Priceville, Durham, Hanover, and Walkerton.

Flows in both watersheds are not expected to crest until later today or tomorrow and will remain high all weekend.

The Grand River Conservation Authority issued a flood warning for two zones including the Conestogo River through Drayton. The Authority is using major reservoirs, including the Conestogo Lake, to store the excess runoff.

The Maitland Valley Conservation Authority is not expecting significant flooding. In a watershed conditions statement Wednesday morning, officials say river levels are expected to reach or slightly exceed bank full conditions but flooding will be limited to traditional flood-prone areas.

People are also urged to be cautious near the Lake Huron shoreline where there are strong winds and high wave action.

Environment Canada says all of Midwestern Ontario is under a rainfall warning with up to 150 millimetres in total expected in some areas by Thursday afternoon.

Meanwhile thousands are without power as Hydro One works to repair damage caused by the latest storm system.

There are scattered outages in Bruce, Grey, Huron, Perth and Wellington. The two largest outages are around Holmesville and Dublin, where more than 900 and 500 respectively are without power.

The utility gives 10 a.m. as the estimated restoration time for the Holmesville outage but all the others are still being assessed so Hydro One is not saying when they will be back online.

And there are still scattered outages on the Bruce Peninsula after a Tuesday night storm left thousands without power. Work in that area could continue most of the day Thursday.
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