Friday, February 26, 2021

‘Record high’ water levels leads to shoreline water safety bulletin

The St. Clair Region Conservation has issued a shoreline water safety bulletin, as record high water levels are being seen on Lakes Huron, St. Clair, and Erie, along with sustained high water levels in Wallaceburg.

“Record high monthly water levels on Lakes Huron, St. Clair and Erie over the past four to six months are contributing to elevated levels along shorelines, connecting channels and at watershed outlets,” SCRCA officials stated on Thursday, July 9, 2020.

“These conditions are causing elevated levels on the Sydenham River at Wallaceburg, where water is approximately 35 cm higher compared to previous years.”

Elevated water levels create conditions in which winds from a southerly or westerly direction, or minimal amounts of precipitation, can exacerbate water levels or flooding in the Wallaceburg region or along shorelines, SCRCA officials say.

“Residents in this area, as well as along the Lake St. Clair shoreline, may experience increased minor flooding of natural floodplain areas or roads as a result of elevated water levels and wind conditions,” Conservation Authority officials stated.

“Water levels on lakes undergo cyclical patterns over the course of a year, with levels often peaking in the summer months of July and August. Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the US Army Corps of Engineers are forecasting the Lake Huron water level to surpass its record high in July. Residents along the Lake Huron and St. Clair shorelines, as well as the St. Clair River and those in Wallaceburg, can anticipate elevated water levels to further increase over the coming month.”

Soils already saturated from prolonged high water levels could contribute to ponding, increased runoff into watercourses, and possible increased erosion and seepage issues.

River banks are expected to be slippery, with possible minor erosion, SCRCA officials added.

“Residents are reminded to avoid watercourses and flooded areas due to slippery banks and swift moving water,” officials say.

“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.

Municipal emergency response staff and road superintendents should monitor local conditions closely.

This message will remain in effect indefinitely unless otherwise updated, SCRCA officials say.

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