August 26, 2019 (Photo by Allanah Wills)

UPDATE: Flood warning issued for Great Lakes shorelines, Erie Shore Drive

A flood watch has been upgraded to a warning for Great Lake shorelines in Chatham-Kent as well as Erie Shore Drive.

The Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority (LTVCA) issued the watch Saturday afternoon and upgraded it to a warning by late Sunday morning.

Strong southwest winds are forecasted to reach speeds above 30 km/hr Sunday evening and into the overnight period on Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair. Wind speeds are predicted to stay strong into Monday morning and throughout the day Monday, reaching gusts of up to 70 km/hr. Meanwhile, wave heights on Lake Erie could reach up to 2 m in height by Monday morning.

“There is a risk that wave action could damage shoreline protection works and cause erosion, including along the high bluff areas,” the LTVCA said in a news release. “Low lying areas and communities are also at risk of flooding. If wind speeds haven’t dropped by the time winds switch to the northwest, there could also be impacts along the Lake St. Clair shoreline around Lighthouse Cove and in Chatham-Kent.”

According to the LTVCA, the area likely to be impacted to the greatest extent is Erie Shore Drive in Chatham-Kent. The winds that caused severe flooding and triggered a state of emergency on August 27th, had peaked at speeds of around 35 km/hr. Forecasts suggest those speeds will be reached overnight tonight and exceeded by a significant amount Monday morning.

The conservation authority cautions residents to take extra caution and avoid the shoreline. They are also asking residents to be prepared for changing conditions.

The warning is in effect until Tuesday.