KCCA downgrades to a Shoreline Conditions Statement—Flood Outlook for the Lake Erie Shoreline
For immediate release
St. Thomas — This notice is intended to update the public and local municipalities on the status of the Lake Erie shoreline within the Kettle Creek Conservation Authority.
Lake Erie water levels, while still elevated, have dropped below KCCA’s established threshold for heightened shoreline storm surge monitoring of 175.25m during the boating season. Currently, the static (calm) water level in Lake Erie is fluctuating with rain events.
“Although water levels have been slowly declining over the month of June, they still remain at unusually high levels,” says Jennifer Dow, KCCA’s water conservation supervisor. “That means that there is still a risk for flooding and erosion along the Lake Erie Shoreline due to storm surge. Summer storm events, especially in the Great Lakes region can move in quickly bringing gusty winds and heavy downpours,” says Dow. Under the right conditions, storm surge can happen quickly with little warning. 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.
The greatest risk for flooding and erosion due to erosion in the Kettle Creek watershed is in Port Stanley when storms bring sustained winds from the south, in particular from the southwest, at sustained wind speeds of 50km/hr or higher. Residents can consult Environment Canada’s Marine Forecast to get up to date information on local wind speeds and direction.
Residents should take extra caution to avoid areas where flooding is occurring as well as creeks, streams and shoreline areas during significant rainfall and wind events. 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. Unless superseded by a Flood Watch, this Shoreline Conditions Statement—Flood Outlook will remain in effect until July 31, 2020 at which time conditions will be reevaluated.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.