Shoreline Conditions Statement—Lake Erie (High) Static Water Level
For immediate release
This notice is intended to update the public and local municipalities for all areas along the Lake Erie Shoreline in the Kettle Creek Conservation Authority (KCCA) watershed on the current high static (calm) water levels of Lake Erie and the potential for flooding and erosion as we move through spring.
Data collected in Port Stanley at the end of April indicates that the average water level has remained relatively stable around 175.06m, which is 77cm above average, 8cm higher than the record high and 6cm higher than water levels recorded in April last year. This water level does not account for any increase in water level due to storm surge or wind driven waves.
“With record high lake levels and windy conditions comes a heightened risk for flooding and erosion along the Lake Erie shoreline due to storm surge,” says Jennifer Dow, KCCA’s water conservation supervisor. The greatest risk for flooding and erosion in the Kettle Creek watershed is in Port Stanley when storms bring sustained winds at or above 50 km/hr from the southwest. “However, with water levels being so high, significant onshore winds from the southeast could also cause flooding,” says Dow.
“Under the right conditions, storm surge can occur quickly with little warning,” says Dow. All shoreline residents should be aware that wind and wave action can cause shoreline erosion, damage to shoreline structures, and can cause localized flooding. Residents are reminded to continue to be aware of their local conditions and take appropriate action should conditions change.
The risk for flood events along the shoreline is expected to remain high into the summer months when Great Lakes water levels typically drop. The current long-range forecasts are still calling for peak water levels this summer to be similar to those experienced last year.
KCCA staff will continue to monitor Lake Erie conditions and provide updates as warranted. This Shoreline Conditions Statement—Lake Erie (High) Static Water Level will remain in effect until May 31, 2020 at which time conditions will be reevaluated.
Lake Erie water levels chart from the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Regulation Office (Environment Canada, May 4, 2020). You can see how the 2020 water levels compare to previous years.
More information on the flood warning system is available on KCCA’s web site www.kettlecreekconservation.on.ca
Follow KCCA flood messages on Twitter and Facebook @KettleCreekCA
Contact Jennifer Dow, KCCA Water Conservation Supervisor at 519-631-1270 ext. 228
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.