LTVCA issues flood outlook through Monday

Thames River overflowing onto the walkways in Chatham. February 6, 2019. (Photo by Greg Higgins)

With heavy rain in the forecast, the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority (LTVCA) is keeping an eye on the Thames River.

Heavy rainfall prompted the local conservation authority to issue a special statement on Sunday about possible flooding along the Thames River and local watercourses throughout the watershed.

According to the LTVCA, forecasters are calling for 20 to 40 mm of rain to fall Sunday evening and overnight.

“The Thames River and many smaller local watercourses had risen over the last few days due to melting snow but water levels are now falling, the LTVCA said in a release. “Any remaining snow is likely to melt with the warm temperatures and rain, adding flooding that might occur.”

The amount of rain expected could cause ponding and localized flooding throughout the watershed, especially in low-lying areas.

Should Chatham-Kent receive the predicted rainfall amounts, the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority would operate the McGregor Creek Diversion Channel to prevent flooding in the south end of the city of Chatham.

“It’s still too early to predict potential impacts of this event on the Thames River itself,” the LTVCA said in a release.

Residents are being advised to check their properties for potential drainages issues and to clear catch basins and storm sewer inlets of leaves and other debris in order to help reduce localized flooding.

Officials will continue to monitor the situation and update this advisory.