Strong wind warning for the Lake Erie Shoreline results in heightened risk for storm surge
For immediate release
St. Thomas — This notice is intended to update the public and local municipalities on the status of Lake Erie within the Kettle Creek Conservation Authority.
Environment Canada has issued a strong wind warning, forecasting strong southwesterly winds of 50km/hr with gusts up to 100km/hr Wednesday evening and into early Thursday morning. This message is to draw attention to the current month-long Flood Watch that 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 Unless superseded by a Flood Warning, this heightened status will remain in effect until June 12, 2020 at which time conditions will be reevaluated and/or the standing Flood Watch messaging will come back into effect.
“Peak sustained southwest winds of 40-60 km/hr are expected this evening between 6-8pm, with the potential for gusts up to 100km/hr,” says Jennifer Dow, KCCA’s water conservation supervisor. “This means that residents in Port Stanley need to be extra vigilant when it comes to keeping an eye on their local conditions. Under the right conditions, storm surge can occur quickly with little warning.”
As a result of the current high lake levels, there is a heightened risk for flooding and erosion along the Lake Erie shoreline due to storm surge including and increased risk of damage to shoreline structures due to damaging waves and localized flooding.
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. 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.