Friday, August 7, 2020

Flood warning, state of emergency is on-going

(Rick Nicholls, Facebook)

A state of emergency continue on Erie Shore Drive in Chatham-Kent and a flood warning issued by the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority (LTVCA) is on-going as well.

LTVCA officials say flooding along Erie Shore Drive is expected again this afternoon through until tomorrow morning.

Forecasts suggest a very similar event to what happened on Aug 27.

Weather Forecasts are still calling for strong winds this afternoon and overnight tonight.

The Strong Wind Warning for Lake Erie remains in effect.

“Yesterday’s forecast ended up over-predicting the winds,” LTVCA officials stated in a media release.

“The weather station at Erieau suggests winds only made it up to around 25 km/hr with gust of around 35 km/hr. Winds are currently light out of the west, but forecasts are calling for winds to switch to the southwest again and climb throughout the day. Some forecasts suggest that sustain wind speeds above 30 km/hr could be reached by early afternoon while others suggest that might not occur until later this evening.”

LTVCA officials say most forecasts are currently suggesting the worst winds sometime shortly after midnight.

“These peak winds could climb to 45 km/hr with gusts of up to 65 km/hr,” officials say.

“Marine forecasts suggest waves on Lake Erie could reach 2 m in height. Longer range forecasts suggest winds should shift to the east or northeast and remain below 30 km/hr over the weekend.”

The winds forecasted for this afternoon and overnight are very similar to those that caused extensive flooding along Erie Shore Drive on August 27th, with slightly larger waves predicted by the marine forecast, and winds coming more from the southwest as opposed to the south, LTVCA officials said.

“Flooding along Erie Shore Drive should be expected this afternoon and this evening. Severe flooding similar to what occurred on the 27th should be expected overnight. A large number of homes along Erie Shore Drive have been impacted, many stretches of shoreline protection were damaged and even the roadway itself has been damaged. This makes the Erie Shore Drive particularly vulnerable to further flood damages as there hasn’t been time to make repairs. Residents and emergency responders should be prepared. The long range forecasts suggest the Lake Erie shoreline should get a reprieve for the long weekend.”

Erie Shore Drive has been closed to all traffic and non-emergency related personnel are asked to avoid the area, LTVCA officials stated.

Other areas along the Lake Erie shoreline with south facings, including the high bluff areas, are also at risk of shoreline damage.

“The local state of emergency and voluntary evacuation remains in effect,” LTVCA officials stated.

“Officials are concerned that the road has been compromised and Erie Shore Drive has been closed to all traffic. Non-emergency related personnel are asked to avoid the area. For information regarding the provision of municipal services and evacuations, please contact the municipality of Chatham-Kent at 519-360-1998.”

Other areas along the Lake Erie shoreline are also at a higher risk for shoreline damage, erosion and flooding in low lying properties due to the strong southwest winds, LTVCA officials stated.

“Again, people are being asked to avoid the Erie Shore Drive area,” Conservation Authority officials stated.

“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 especially should be kept away from the water.

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

This message will be in effect until August 30, 2019.

For road closure and evacuation information please contact the Municipality of Chatham-Kent at 519-360-1998.

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