• Strong Wind Warning issued for Lake Erie due to strong winds forecasted for Saturday evening and Sunday.
• Risk of shoreline damage, erosion and flooding along the Lake Erie shore, including the high bluff areas.
• Risk of damages along Erie Shore Drive Saturday evening and throughout the day Sunday.
• Rain in the forecast could lead to localized flooding or aggravate other shoreline flooding.
A Strong Wind Warning has been issued by Environment Canada due to strong southerly winds forecasted Saturday evening and Sunday. The easterly winds on Saturday are supposed to increase in speed in the evening and begin a transition through the south ending up as westerly winds on Sunday evening. Forecasts suggest winds could exceed 35 km/hr from the east or southeast at times Saturday evening. Sunday forecasts are still a bit far out to be reliable, but currently forecasts suggest winds could peak on Sunday sometime during the day, at speeds between 40 and 50 km/hr, from the south (southwest through southeast). Winds are then expected to drop below 30 km/hr on Sunday evening. In addition to the winds and waves, forecasts are also calling for 25 to 45 mm of rain for Saturday evening and overnight. The Marine Forecasts suggest wave heights on Lake Erie could reach up to 1.5 m in height by Saturday afternoon before the winds really peak.
Strong winds will be driving waves onto the Lake Erie shoreline in Chatham-Kent and Elgin County, Saturday evening and throughout the day on Sunday. There is a risk that wave action could damage shoreline protection works and cause erosion, all along the Lake Erie shoreline, including along the high bluff areas. Low lying areas could also experience flooding. On Saturday evening the Rose Beach Line area in Chatham-Kent will be in direct line of winds and waves but will become more sheltered from the winds later on Sunday when winds switch to the southwest. The area most likely to be impacted is Erie Shore Drive in Chatham-Kent as the area will be exposed to direct wind and wave action for most of this period. Over the last few years flooding tends to start along Erie Shore Drive when winds exceed 30 km/hr from the south. There is still some uncertainty in the forecasts (especially Sunday’s forecasts) and whether there will be damage depends on how high the winds get and the direct they are coming from at the time.
The rain in the forecast could also lead to localized flooding or aggravate any shoreline flooding caused by the winds and waves. Due to the high lake levels, the groundwater table is high and storm water systems and local watercourses are filled with lake water. As a result, rainwater is not draining properly from these areas. Any water from upstream making its way downstream on these watercourses into these shoreline areas could cause additional flooding.
Residents should pay attention to local conditions and be prepared.
People should take extra caution and avoid the shoreline should conditions get rough. The waves can be strong and the shoreline slippery. There could also be hazardous debris within the waves and water which could be thrown onto the shore. Standing water can also present unseen hazards. Children and animals should be kept away from the water.
Officials will continue to monitor the situation and update this advisory if necessary.
This message will be in effect until October 28, 2019.
Contact: Jason Wintermute (519-354-7310 x227, [email protected]) regarding this message.