ERCA extends flood watch through June

Flooding along Point Pelee Drive, April 13, 2020. Photo courtesy of Leamington Fire Chief Andrew Baird

Continued high water levels on Lakes Erie and St. Clair have led to an ongoing flood watch being extended.

The Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA) has lengthened its county-wide flood watch through the month of June, due to new record high levels on both bodies of water.

“Preliminary information indicates that both Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie have set new record highs for the month of May surpassing last year’s record-setting levels,” ERCA said in a news release on Tuesday afternoon. “At these current record-setting levels, Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie are roughly 85 centimetres and 75 centimetres, respectively, above long term average levels. This continues to elevate the risk of flooding and erosion near our shoreline areas.”

While a flood watch does not mean that flooding is imminent, an increase of lake water in tributaries lining the lakes may diminish the capacity to handle rainfall, and the likelihood of localized flooding is raised.

The City of Windsor has been asked to monitor levels along the Little River corridor. The municipality of Leamington, as well as Essex County, has been charged with watching conditions along Point Pelee Drive. In Pelee Township, erosion has been reported West Shore Road and McCormick Road.

The current flood watch is due to expire on July 2.