The last few weeks can be described in one word: wet! This past week alone the watershed has received over 50mm of rain making the ground completely saturated. This means that the ground has limited ability to absorb any excess rainfall that comes our way. As a result, any rain that moves through the Great Lakes region will runoff into the local creeks and streams and contribute to higher water levels throughout the watershed. Residents can help move the excess water through their area by keeping storm drains clear of leaves and debris.
In addition to elevated water levels and flows in Kettle Creek, the Great Lakes water levels, in particular Lake Erie remain well above average:
- Lake Erie’s water level was 60 cm above average, this is the 6th highest water level in April on record and the highest level since 1998.
- Lake Erie rose 24 cm last month, more than the typical April rise of 13 cm.
- At the beginning of May, Lake Erie’s monthly water level was 3 cm above the record-high set in May 1985.
- All of the Great Lakes are expected to continue to rise in May with Lake Erie potentially reaching its seasonal peak this month.
What does this mean? 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 south-westerly and westerly winds. Residents with docks and boats in Port Stanley should keep an eye on their local conditions and check Environment Canada’s Marine Weather Forecast for information on wave heights, wind speed and direction and local warnings on the Great Lakes.
The risk for flood events along the shoreline is expected to remain high into the summer months when Great Lakes water levels typically drop. With this in mind, it is always advisable to keep your eye on your local conditions and take appropriate action when necessary.
For further updates, log on to www.kettlecreekconservation.on.ca or connect with Kettle Creek Conservation Authority socially on Facebook and Twitter @KettleCreekCA.