KCCA continues Flood Watch for the Lake Erie Shoreline
For immediate release
This notice is intended to update the public and local municipalities on the high water levels in Lake Erie and the effects on the Kettle Creek Conservation Authority (KCCA) watershed.
Due to the ongoing record high water levels in Lake Erie, the current Flood Watch will remain in effect for all shoreline areas within the KCCA watershed. Areas of concern are the low lying beach communities and shoreline areas along Lake Erie, including the low lying areas along the downstream reaches of Kettle Creek within Port Stanley. Unless superseded by a Flood Warning, this watch will remain in effect until July 31, 2019 at which time conditions will be reevaluated.
As of July 1, 2019, Lake Erie’s static (calm) water level was 175.17m. This water level is 82cm above average and 13cm above the record-high for this time of year (set in 1986). This level does not account for any increase in water levels due to storm surge or wind driven waves. Water levels in Lake Erie typically decline over the summer months, however this is not a typical year. Water levels have yet to stabilize and are still increasing week to week. The week ending July 1st indicates that the mean has increased by an additional 3 cm.
As a result of the high lake levels, there continues to be a heightened risk for flooding and erosion along the Lake Erie shoreline due to storm surge. The greatest risk for flooding and erosion in the Kettle Creek watershed is in Port Stanley when storms bring sustained Southwest winds. Typically, sustained wind speeds in the range of 50 km/hr or higher are associated with an increased risk of flooding, shoreline erosion, and damage to shoreline structures due to damaging waves and localized flooding. As well, higher water levels in Lake Erie can decrease the outflow of Kettle Creek, reducing the available capacity to handle rainfall events.
Residents are reminded to continue to be aware of their local conditions and take appropriate action should conditions change. Under high water and flooding conditions, the combination of slippery banks, waves, waves overtopping shoreline structures, and fast moving water can be dangerous. Standing water can also present its own unseen hazards. Children and pets should be kept away from flowing or standing water as well as shoreline areas.
A well-attended public information session was held in Port Stanley on Tuesday June 25, 2019 where KCCA and Municipal staff were on hand to provide a presentation and information on the current lake conditions and the dangers of storm surge. Residents who were unable to attend the information session can access the presentation on the KCCA YouTube page.
KCCA staff will continue to monitor Lake Erie conditions and provide updates as warranted. For further updates, log on to www.kettlecreekconservation.on.ca or connect with Kettle Creek Conservation Authority socially on Facebook and Twitter @KettleCreekCA.
Public Relations Supervisor
The Kettle Creek Conservation Authority issues three levels of messages:
- Watershed Conditions Statement (Previously High Water Safety Bulletin): a general notice of weather conditions that could pose a risk to personal safety or which have the potential to lead to flooding. There are two variations of these:
- Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety: High flows, unsafe banks, melting ice or other factors could be dangerous for recreational users such as anglers, canoeists, hikers, children, pets, etc. Flooding is not expected
- Watershed Conditions Statement – Flood Outlook: Early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high wind or other conditions that could lead to high runoff, cause ice jams, lakeshore flooding or erosion.
- Flood Watch (Previously Flood Advisory): Flooding is possible in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should prepare.
- Flood Warning (No change): Flooding is imminent or already occurring in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities and individuals should take action to deal with flood conditions. This may include road closures and evacuations.