The St. Clair Region Conservation Authority (SCRCA) has issued a water safety bulletin, as approximately 25mm rain is in the forecast through the weekend.
SCRCA officials say they are expecting strong winds, increased wave action, possible erosion and possible minor flooding.
“Upwards of 25mm of rain is forecasted through this weekend with a risk of a thunderstorm on Sunday,” SCRCA officials said in a press release.
“Given ongoing high water levels on the Great Lakes and Lake St. Clair, previously considered minimal amounts of rain have the ability to elevate water levels into natural floodplain areas, parks and farm fields. Soils may become saturated and could contribute to ponding, increased runoff into watercourses, and possible increased erosion and seepage issues.”
SCRCA officials added: “Recent dry conditions may afford some rainfall capacity in the soil, however high amounts of rainfall in a short period of time can lead to increased runoff and flash flooding, particularly in urban areas.”
Winds are anticipated to be from a southerly direction early Sunday morning, becoming southwesterly/westerly throughout the day and into the evening, SCRCA officials say.
“Wind gusts are forecasted upwards of 70km/h, subsiding overnight into early Monday morning before switching to a northerly direction late Monday into early Tuesday,” SCRCA officials stated.
“Winds from a south/westerly direction have the potential to slow the flow of water out of the Sydenham River, causing backflow and elevated levels in Wallaceburg, and which may result in water levels breaching the riverbank. Residents along the Lake St. Clair shoreline may also experience wind-driven high water levels and wave action, with a potential for erosion.”
River banks are expected to be slippery, with possible erosion, SCRCA officials added.
“Residents are reminded to avoid watercourses and flooded areas due to slippery banks and cold, swift moving water, as well as shorelines during high-wind and wave action events,” SCRCA officials added.
“Children and pets should be kept away from the water.”
The Conservation Authority continues to monitor watershed conditions and will issue advisories to municipalities and media should flood issues arise, officials say.
“Municipal emergency response staff and road superintendents should monitor local conditions closely,” SCRCA officials added.
This message will remain in effect until Tuesday, March 31, 2020 unless otherwise updated.