Saturday, July 11, 2020

Flood watch issued for Lake Erie shoreline

The Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority has issued a flood watch for the Lake Erie shoreline and Erie Shore Drive.

“Weather forecasts are calling for moderate to strong southerly and westerly winds tomorrow during the day,” LTVCA officials say.

“Winds are currently light out of the southeast. Wind speeds are predicted to rise overnight and could reach 25 km/hr in the morning. Some forecasts suggest winds could reach into the 35 to 40 km/hr range later in the day.

LTVCA officials added: “The southeast winds are predicted to shift to a southwest direction late overnight or tomorrow morning and then to a west or northwest direction in the evening. In addition to the winds, there is 10 to 20 mm of rain in the forecast for tomorrow, with the potential for thundershowers. Wave heights on Lake Erie are predicted to be around 1 m, with the possibility of waves up to around 1.5 m.”

While winds are out of a south or southwest direction, they will be driving waves onto our Lake Erie shoreline throughout Chatham-Kent and Elgin County, LTVCA officials say.

“There is a risk that wave action could damage shoreline protection works and cause erosion all along the shoreline, including along the high bluff areas,” officials say.

“There could also be flooding in low lying shoreline areas. Wind speeds around 25 km/hr have previously produced flooding along Erie Shore Drive in Chatham-Kent. Given the forecasts, there could be flooding along Erie Shore Drive tomorrow. Although forecasts are not calling for sustained wind speeds strong enough to cause flooding on Lake St. Clair, there is still a slight risk of flooding in other such shoreline areas due to thundershowers and associated weather systems.”

Residents and workers in shoreline areas should pay attention to local conditions and be prepared, LTVCA officials say.

“People should take extra caution and avoid the shoreline should conditions get rough. The waves can be strong and the shoreline slippery. There could also be hazardous debris within the waves and water which could be thrown onto the shore. 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 flood watch will be in effect until June 24, LTVCA officials added.

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