Health & Medical

Crews out flooding the Rideau Canal but stay off the ice for now: NCC

Crews out flooding the Rideau Canal but stay off the ice for now: NCC thumbnail
File: Crews are preparing the ice for skating on the Rideau Canal.
File: Crews are preparing the ice for skating on the Rideau Canal. Photo by Tony Caldwell /Postmedia

National Capital Commission crews were out flooding the Rideau Canal Monday, using pumps to draw water from below the ice to help thicken the surface to safely support skaters.

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“Please keep off the ice (and) stay tuned for our opening date,” the NCC said.

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Twitter users are watching: “Any chance it could happen before the 18th?” asked one.

“Making my first trip to Ottawa and this was a must-do.”

Ask Mother Nature. Last week — after springlike temperatures and rain — a spokesperson said the NCC needed an average temperature of -15 C over 48 hours to properly cool the ice and freeze any water that had fallen then lows around -10 C to thicken the surface.

The weekend was more wintry and Tuesday night is expected to dip to -16 C from a daytime high of -7 C. Wednesday is expected to reach -7 C and to stay there. Thursday’s forecast high is 2 C with a low of 0 C.

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Last year, the skateway opened in mid-January and closed in early March, a span of 50 days including days in between in which the canal was closed to skaters.

The year before, it opened in late January and closed near the end of February, clocking in at 28 days. In the 2018-19 season, the skateway opened on Dec. 30 and closed on March 10, for total of 71 days.

-with files from Joanne Laucius

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Spotted 👀 Our crews are out flooding the ice of the #RideauCanal

 

They use pumps to draw water from below the ice to flood the surface & help build up the ice thickness needed to safely open the Skateway.

 

Please keep off the ice & stay tuned for our opening date! #OttNews pic.twitter.com/WbsDFxm6RF

— Rideau Canal Skateway (@NCC_Skateway) January 9, 2023

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