KCCA issues a Water Conditions Statement—Flood Outlook 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.
As expected, Lake Erie water levels have slowly declined over the summer months. Data collected in Port Stanley indicate that the average water level, while still at a record high, has dropped to 174.94m. This water level does not account for any increase in water level due to storm surge or wind driven waves.
As a strong low-pressure system moves into the Province this afternoon bringing with it 15-30 mm of rain, there is the potential for thunderstorms to develop which could bring an additional 10-25mm of precipitation. More concerning for the Lake Erie shoreline is that the strong winds associated with this system are predominantly from the west/southwest. Sustained wind speeds may reach up to 35-40 km/hr with gusts up to 90 km/hr. Environment Canada’s Marine Forecast has issued a Strong Wind Warning and a Squall Watch for Western Lake Erie.
“As we move into the fall storm season, we have to be extra observant of those sustained and gusty southwesterly winds,” says Jennifer Dow, KCCA’s water conservation supervisor. “That means that there is still a heightened risk for flooding and erosion along the Lake Erie Shoreline due to storm surge—especially since water levels still remain at record highs. Late summer storm events, especially in the Great Lakes region can move in quickly bringing gusty winds and heavy downpours,” says Dow.
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. Storm surge can cause shoreline erosion, and damage to shoreline structures due to damaging waves and localized flooding.
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.
KCCA staff will continue to monitor Lake Erie conditions and provide updates as warranted. This Watershed Conditions Statement—Flood Outlook will remain in effect until September 30, 2019 at which time conditions will be reevaluated. 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.