Flood watch issued for entire month of July

Lake Erie shoreline. October 2019. (Photo courtesy of the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority)

The Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority (LTVCA) has issued a flood watch for the Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair shorelines that will last the entire month of July.

The conservation authority said the current water levels on the lakes are at or near their record highs set last year and moderate sustained winds, thunderstorms and/or heavy rains could cause flooding, erosion and shoreline damage on both lakes. The LTVCA said the current average daily water level on Lake Erie sits at around 175 metres, which is only seven centimetres below the all-time record high monthly average for June set last year, and 12 centimetres below last year’s peak daily average water level set on June 22.

However, the conservation authority said it predicts a drop in lake levels of seven to eight centimetres over the month of July.

The current average water level on Lake St. Clair sits at around 176 metres, which matches the all-time record high monthly average for July set last year, and is four centimetres below last year’s peak daily average water level set on July 7 and 8.

“The current risks of flooding and shoreline damage are essentially the same as they were last year during the peak water level summer months,” said Jason Wintermute of the LTVCA. “The extent of any flooding and shoreline damage we may experience will be determined by the wind speed, wind direction and the waves they create.”

The most vulnerable areas continue to be Erie Shore Drive, Lighthouse Cove, and the bluff areas along Lake Erie.