Friday, December 13, 2019

Flood watch issued for Lake Erie shoreline

File photo (LTVCA)

The Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority has issued another flood watch for the Laker Erie shoreline, as strong winds from the southwest are forecasted on the lake today.

Conservation officials say there is a risk of erosion, shoreline damage and flooding along the Lake Erie Shoreline, especially along Erie Shore Drive.

“Current weather forecasts are calling for strong southwest winds today,” LTVCA officials stated in a media release.

“Several forecasts suggest wind speeds could reach 30 km/hr sometime today. The highest winds are forecasted to pass through before a thunderstorms system, the timing of which is uncertain. Wind gusts are forecasted to exceed 40 km/hr with some forecasts calling for up to 50 km/hr gusts. With these wind speeds, waves between 0.5 and 1 m could be expected on Lake Erie.”

Officials say there is a risk that wave action could damage shoreline protection works and cause erosion all along the Lake Erie shoreline, including the high bluff areas.

Low lying areas and communities would also be at risk of flooding, especially Erie Shore Drive.

“There is also a risk of thunderstorms today through tomorrow morning,” LTVCA officials stated.

“Heavy rains associated with thunderstorms could also cause flooding in low lying shoreline areas. Due to the high lake levels, the groundwater table is high and storm water sewer systems and local watercourses are full with lake water. As a result, rainwater is not draining properly from these areas. Any water from upstream making its way downstream on these watercourses into these shoreline areas could cause additional flooding.”

Officials say people should take extra caution and avoid the shoreline should the weather get rough.

“Also, any waterways with elevated water levels should be avoided,” LTVCA officials say.

“The waves on the lakes can be strong, and the shoreline and the banks of waterways can be slippery. There could also be hazardous debris within the waves and water which could be thrown onto the shoreline. Standing water can also present unseen hazards. Children and animals should be kept away from the water.”

Officials will continue to monitor the situation and update this advisory if necessary.

This message will be in effect until July 21, 2019.

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