Sunday, January 19, 2020

Flood warning continues for Thames River

A flood warning remains in place by the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority.

LTVCA officials say the Thames River is now peaking in Chatham, flooding of residential areas in the city is no longer expected and basement flooding of businesses along King Street is expected to continue into tomorrow.

LTVCA officials added that water levels are high on both Lake St. Clair and the Thames River.

“Heavy rains over the weekend have caused flooding on the Thames River for the third winter in a row,” LTVCA officials stated.

“The peak flows on the Thames River have now reached Chatham. Water levels are dropping, but they are expected to remain high in the city and downstream for a couple more days. In downstream areas of the Thames River water has spilled out into the flood flats and water levels are high at the outlets of local ditches and creeks.”

In Chatham, the Diversion Channel Dam is currently closed as flood waters from the Thames River have backed up the Diversion all the way past its inlet and into McGregor Creek upstream, LTVCA officials stated.

“The 6th St. Dam and Pumping Station in downtown Chatham at the mouth of McGregor Creek is also currently being operated to prevent the Thames River from backing up McGregor and Indian Creeks and flooding nearby properties on the south side of the City of Chatham,” LTVCA officials say.

“Operations are expected to continue into late tomorrow.”

LTVCA officials added: “Water levels in Chatham have now peaked and are expected to drop slowly throughout the day. Basement flooding is expected to continue into tomorrow for those businesses along King Street that back onto the Thames River in the downtown core. The homes on Siskind Court and other roads along the river did not end of up getting flooded.”

Areas downstream of Chatham are not expected to be impacted by flooding, other than Lighthouse Cove, LTVCA officials say.

“Water levels are high on both Lake St. Clair and the Thames River which is impacting Lighthouse Cove,” officials say.

“Strong northwest winds overnight caused shoreline flooding, and nuisance flooding continues in other areas of the community. Forecasts call for those strong winds to continue throughout the day and into the evening period. The nuisance flooding is expected to continue until the peak flows on the Thames River passes out into Lake St. Clair sometime tomorrow. There is also the potential for further shoreline flooding later in the day or this evening.”

LTVCA officials say the public should take extra caution and avoid the water.

“The combination of slippery banks and fast moving cold water can be dangerous,” officials stated.

“Standing water can also present unseen hazards. Children and animals should be kept away from the water.”

LTVCA officials added: “As flood waters recede, we ask that residents attempt to ensure that catch basins and other drainage works are free of debris and can function properly. Debris and other waste left behind from the flooding should be properly disposed of rather than thrown back in the river.”

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

This message will be in effect until January 17, 2020.

A flood warning remains in place by the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority as well. Details, here.

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