Waves crash over the pier at Erieau Beach on Lake Erie. March 8, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Cindy June via Facebook)

ERCA extends flood watch

The Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA) has extended its flood watch until the end of June because of strong wind and record high lake levels.

It’s in effect for all shorelines in the Essex Region, including Pelee Island.

The ERCA said low lying beach communities and shoreline areas along Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River, and Lake Erie are areas of concern. Low lying areas along the downstream of major tributaries are also a worry.

“These levels bring an elevated risk of flooding and erosion across the watershed,” the ERCA said in a news release Friday afternoon. “Typically, sustained wind speeds in the range of 40 to 50 km/hr or higher are associated with an increased risk of flooding, shoreline erosion, and damage to shoreline structures.”

The authority added elevated lake levels have significantly reduced the required wind speed to cause flooding issues. The region has experienced multiple flooding events with wind speeds between 30 and 35 km/hr from the northeast and east/northeast directions.

The flood watch will remain in effect until June 28.