• A Gale Warning has been issued for Lake Erie due to very strong winds in the forecast, beginning this evening and peaking Sunday morning
• Along Erie Shore Drive on Lake Erie, there is a risk of shoreline damage and flooding, especially Sunday morning.
• Risk of shoreline damage, erosion and flooding all along the Lake Erie shore, including the high bluff areas.
• A Special Weather Statement has been issued due to significant rainfall predicted tonight into Sunday morning
• Heavy rains could lead to localized drainage issues.
• Local watercourses will rise and some could reach bank full conditions or spill their banks
• Heavy rains could aggravate other shoreline flooding.
The Strong Wind Warning issued by Environment Canada’s Marine Forecast has been upgraded to a Gale Warning. Strong winds from the south (southeast through southwest) are forecasted to being this evening, peaking Sunday morning and then dropping Sunday evening. Currently, winds are from the east and are forecasted to increase in speed this the evening and begin a transition through the south ending up as westerly winds on Sunday evening. Forecasts suggest winds in the range of 35 to 45 km/hr from the east or southeast this evening and overnight. Forecasts for Sunday morning suggest winds will switch to the south or southwest and pick up speed, with some forecasts suggesting winds could reach up to 60 km/hr. Winds are then forecasted to switch to the west and drop below 30 km/hr Sunday evening. The Marine Forecasts suggest wave heights on Lake Erie could reach up to 1.5 m in height by the overnight period with 3 to 4 m waves possible on the open lake late Sunday morning.
In addition to the heavy winds, the Special Weather Statement and other forecasts are calling for 30 to 40 mm of rain this afternoon through into Sunday morning. Throughout the watershed, the large amount of rain predicted could lead to ponding and localized flooding in areas with poor drainage. Local ditches, creeks and streams will rise overnight and throughout the day tomorrow. The higher rainfall amounts could cause some watercourses could reach bank full conditions, or cause some to spill their banks and flood low lying adjacent areas.
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. Forecasts suggest winds could reach speeds twice that.
The rain in the forecast will aggravate any flooding in shoreline areas. 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. In addition, Any water from upstream making its way downstream on local watercourses into these shoreline areas could cause additional flooding.
The extent of any flooding and damages will depend on how much rainfall we get, how high the winds get and the direct they are coming from at the time. Residents and emergency responders should be prepared. People should take extra caution and avoid the shoreline and any watercourses with elevated water levels. The waves on the lakes can be strong and the shoreline slippery. There could also be hazardous debris within the waves and water which could be thrown onto the shoreline. On our local ditches, creeks and streams, the combination of slippery banks and fast moving water can be dangerous. 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 ([email protected]) regarding this message.