"Stay Clear! Stay Safe" In Eastern Ontario This March Break

Mar 11, 2009

    OPP and OPG warn that warmer weather means faster and higher water

    TORONTO, March 11 /CNW/ - The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and Ontario
Power Generation (OPG) are reminding parents to use extreme care around
Ontario waterways this March Break, particularly on rivers and lakes that are
near hydroelectric stations and dams.
    "Our message is: Stay Clear! Stay Safe!" said, Jim Moreland Plant Manager
for OPG's Ottawa/St. Lawrence Plant Group that operates 10 generating
stations, three control dams and several spillways on the St. Lawrence, Ottawa
and Madawaska rivers in Eastern Ontario.
    "The rising temperatures mean thinning ice and more water flowing through
our dams and stations, so parents need to remind their children that waterways
and riverbanks aren't playgrounds," he said.
    OPP Sergeant Karen Harrington added: "March Break means more kids are
anxious to play outside after a hard winter. Parents should teach their
children proper water safety rules and never let them play unsupervised."
    Harrington added that riverbanks may be slippery, so "the best advice is
to Stay Clear! Stay Safe!"
    Most hydroelectric facilities are remotely controlled by operators who
may be kilometres away. To meet the fluctuating demand for electricity
throughout the day, these operators open or close dams or start or stop
generators as needed. This causes frequent and rapid changes in the water flow
and levels often creating strong undertows, turbulence and sudden, powerful
gushes of water moving downstream in what was once calm looking surface water.
    All waterways where an OPG dam or hydroelectric station is located have
well-positioned warning signs, buoys, fences, booms and barriers.
    "They are there for the public's safety and to let everyone know that the
areas around the signs are dangerous, so Stay Clear! Stay Safe!," Moreland
    OPG offers the public a number of educational materials on water safety
around dams and hydroelectric stations including a brochure, a DVD for adults
and an educational interactive computer game for children. The OPP and OPG
also have a television ad that warns people to stay clear, and stay safe near
hydroelectric dams and stations. You can view the ad, or request free
educational materials by visiting www.opg.com

For further information:

For further information: OPG MEDIA CONTACT, Media Desk, 1-877-592-4008
or (416) 592-4008; OPP MEDIA CONTACT, Sgt Karen Harrington, Marine Programs,
Ontario Provincial Police, Off: (705) 329-6125, Cell: (705) 330-2860