Flood watch issued ahead of possible storm

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

A weather system expected to move across the region has prompted a flood watch for several areas.

The Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority (LTVCA) issued the advisory Thursday for communities along the Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair, and Rondeau Bay shorelines.

The Essex Region Conservation Authority also issued a flood watch for the Lake Erie shoreline, primarily the western shoreline of Pelee Island as well as a watershed conditions statement.

The flood watch was issued shortly after Environment Canada issued a special weather statement for most of southwestern Ontario as well as a gale warning for western Lake Erie.

Conservation officials said waves for Lake Erie could peak on Friday morning in the range of two to three metres in height. Officials with the LTVCA said there is also a risk of erosion and shoreline damage along the entire length of the Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair shorelines.

Flooding along Erie Shore Drive is expected once winds switch to a southerly direction overnight.

“Even the lower end of the predicted wind speeds has caused significant flooding along the road in the past. People in the area should be prepared for flooded properties and water flowing across the roadway,” read a release from the LTVCA. “Once winds shift to the west sometime Friday morning, the flooding should end.”

The LTVCA said there may also be some flooding in Lighthouse Cove on Friday.

Poorly drained shoreline areas may experience even more flooding as a result of rainwater not being able to drain properly due to already high lake levels and full storm water sewer systems.

“Any water from upstream making its way downstream on these watercourses into these shoreline areas could cause additional flooding,” read the release.

The St. Clair Region Conservation Authority (SCRCA) also issued a flood watch for areas along the Lake Huron shoreline.

Conservation officials said since winds are expected to gust up to 70 kilometres per hour from a northwest direction around noon on Friday, it may cause a backwater effect for some Wallaceburg areas. This could result in elevated water levels in the river. However, the SCRCA said water levels in the Wallaceburg area are currently low and severe flooding is not anticipated.