(Municipality of Chatham-Kent)

Chatham-Kent officials continue repair efforts on the along the Thames River dike in West Kent.

The dike leaked in the vicinity of Poppe Road and Buchanan Line in Tilbury due to high water caused by an ice jam.

Chatham-Kent General Manager, Infrastructure and Engineering Services, Thomas Kelly said municipal staff and contractors are in the process of repairing failures to the dike.

Chatham-Kent Police Services have gone door to door to eight homes in the area-notifying residents.

“Our goal is to repair the leaks as quickly as possible,” Kelly said in a press release.

“The ice jam has caused the river level to rise to the highest point of the dike. New leaks are occurring on a regular basis.”

Kelly said the river levels in Chatham dropped significantly yesterday in the late afternoon as the ice jam near Prairie Siding Bridge started to break up.

Water levels in Chatham are currently stable and further flooding is not expected at this time. However, the area near Jeannette’s Creek remain a concern. Staff are doing taking all measures possible to maintain the dike.

Early Friday, Chatham-Kent Mayor Darrin Canniff declared a state of emergency due to the failure.

“Chatham-Kent staff and first responders have been on the scene and are doing a great job making sure people are safe and repairs are being completed,” he stated.

“We are encouraging the public to avoid the area and especially to stay away from the river. The combination of high water levels and fast current is deadly.”

Canniff said the municipality’s main phone number (519) 360-1998 is being staffed on a 24-hour basis for residents who have questions or concerns.

The Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority (LTVCA) is monitoring the situation. For the latest updates, click here.

Meanwhile, the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority have a flood watch in effect for the Sydenham River.

No new updates have been issued since Wednesday.

The flood watch is set to remain in effect until 12 p.m. Saturday, February 9, unless otherwise updated.

Watch for updates, here.