UPDATE: Flooding Prompts Talk Of Possible Evacuation In Port BruceFebruary 20, 2018 1:49pm
Parts of a beach town southeast of St. Thomas quickly became submerged in water as heavy rain and mild temperatures lead to flooding across southwestern Ontario on Tuesday.
Several roads and homes in Port Bruce were sitting in over a foot of water by early Tuesday afternoon. OPP and local fire officials set up a command post in the community to monitor the increasing water levels.
“It’s raining very steadily here, the snow is melting, the river, of course, is high,” said Sergeant Dave Rektor in a Periscope video.
Rektor said there was potential for an evacuation, however, the OPP reported that flood water had receded in Port Bruce, so an evacuation would not be required.
Assessments of the water levels are made every half hour. Rektor encouraged those with property in Port Bruce to stay away from their homes for the time being.
“Water levels are increasing drastically,” said Rektor. “So please stay away from open bodies of water – rivers, streams, creeks – that are running fast. Stay away from them. The water is ice cold and there is all kinds of debris in there.”
According to the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority (UTRCA), the watershed has already received an average of 20 mm of rain with up to 40mm more forecast by Wednesday. The rain combined with melting snow is expected to lead to localized flooding in London. The north Thames River in Harris Park, Pottersburg Creek, and Waubuno Creek are likely to see water flow above their banks. Western University’s Elgin Hall and Talbot parking lots could also see flooding.
Much of southwestern Ontario, including London-Middlesex, Oxford, and Elgin are under a rainfall warning from Environment Canada. Total rainfall amounts from Monday night through Wednesday will be in the 50-75 mm range, said the national weather agency.
The wet, record mild spell is attributed to a series of low-pressure systems moving along a warm front draped across the lower Great Lakes. A cold front will arrive Wednesday, bringing an end to the rain.