Flood watch issued for Lake Erie shoreline

Lake Erie on August 26, 2019 (Photo by Allanah Wills)

Strong winds in the forecast have prompted local conservation officials to issue a flood watch for the Lake Erie shoreline and Erie Shore Drive.

The watch was issued Sunday afternoon by the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority (LTVCA). According to a media release, winds are predicted to pick up Sunday night and reach peak speeds of 40 to 60 km/hr on Monday morning.

“Winds are then expected to remain strong for the rest of Monday all the way into Wednesday with wind speeds generally between 30 and 50 km/hr,” said the LTVCA. ” Then late overnight Tuesday or early Wednesday, winds are predicted to have moved to a more westerly direction, and to drop below 30 km/hr later on Wednesday.”

During the windy period, waves near the Lake Erie shoreline could reach between 1 and 2-metres in height and up to 3-metres on the open lake. According to the LTVCA, the forecast is also calling for temperatures to drop below the freezing mark during the week.

“In addition, the freezing temperatures predicted for Tuesday could add a level of hazard if the winds haven’t switched to the west by that time.  Wave spray and floodwaters could freeze against structures and across the ground. This could block building exits, seal up exhaust vents from homes, or lead to treacherous walking and driving conditions,” explained the LTVCA.

The LTVA also adds that some areas across the Essex Region received up to 20 mm on Sunday. As a result,  forecasts are predicting that localized areas could receive an additional 20-30 mm overnight.

The watch is in effect until Thursday. Residents are reminded to pay attention to conditions during this time and avoid the shoreline if conditions get rough.