Lake Erie Shoreline Flood Outlook Update
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.
Lake Erie water levels have declined or remained relatively stable over the last few weeks. Data collected in Port Stanley at the end of February indicates that the average water level, has decreased to 174.55m which is 34cm lower than the record high. This water level does not account for any increase in water level due to storm surge or wind driven waves.
Residents along the Lake Erie Shoreline and in particular the Village of Port Stanley are reminded to remain extra observant of sustained and gusty southwesterly winds at or above 50 km/hr. Under the right conditions, storm surge can occur quickly with little warning. All shoreline residents should be aware that wind and wave action can cause shoreline erosion, damage to shoreline structures, and can cause localized flooding.
“The watershed experienced a deep freeze throughout most of February which caused the formation of ice on Lake Erie and Kettle Creek,” says Jennifer Dow, Water Conservation Supervisor at KCCA. A warming trend at the end of February resulted in a minor runoff event that opened up the harbour and the nearshore of Lake Erie before temperatures dropped again. “While Lake Erie is still 37.1% frozen, there is open water on the north shore which means that there is an increased risk of storm surge,” says Dow.
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.
Residents are reminded to continue to be aware of their local conditions and take appropriate action should conditions change. KCCA staff will continue to monitor Lake Erie conditions and provide updates as warranted. This Lake Erie shoreline Watershed Conditions Statement – Flood Outlook will remain in effect until March 31, 2021 at which time conditions will be reevaluated.
More information on the flood warning system is available on KCCA’s website www.kettlecreekconservation.on.ca
Follow KCCA flood messages on Twitter and Facebook @KettleCreekCA
Water Conservation 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.