Record high water levels prompts KCCA to issue a Flood Watch for Lake Erie Shoreline
For immediate release
This notice is intended to update the public and local municipalities on the status of Lake Erie within the Kettle Creek Conservation Authority.
The KCCA advises that, due to the record high lake levels, a Flood Watch is 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 Unless superseded by a Flood Warning, this watch will remain in effect until June 30, 2019 at which time conditions will be reevaluated.
Currently the static (calm) water levels on Lake Erie are still setting records but have stabilized. As of June 6, 2019, Lake Erie’s static water level was 175.11m. This water level is 77cm above average and 8cm 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 are forecast to peak mid-June at which time water levels are anticipated to start the seasonal decline.
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 West to 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.
Additionally, higher lake levels are causing the downstream reaches of Kettle Creek to remain elevated specifically in Port Stanley, and under conditions with lake-setup, this can result in nuisance flooding in low lying areas adjacent to the creek, and impacts to docks and marinas. 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.
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.
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. 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.