• Thames River is now peaking upstream of Thamesville
• Basement flooding of businesses along King Street in downtown Chatham is imminent
• Flooding of Siskind Court in the City of Chatham is possible.
• Flooding in Thamesville is not expected.
• Strong northwest winds over Lake St. Clair tomorrow will raise water levels at the outlet of the Thames River. Flooding in Lighthouse Cove is possible, just from the winds alone.
Heavy rains over the weekend have caused flooding on the Thames River for the third winter in a row. The peak flow in the Thames River is now passing through Chatham-Kent upstream of Thamesville . Water levels upstream are dropping, but they are expected to continue rising downstream for a couple more days. All along the lower Thames River, water has spilled out into the flood flats and water levels are high at the outlets of local ditches and creeks. In Chatham, the Diversion Channel Dam is currently closed as flood waters from the Thames River have backed up the Diversion all the way past its inlet and into McGregor Creek upstream. The 6th St. Dam and Pumping Station in downtown Chatham at the mouth of McGregor Creek is also currently being operated to prevent the Thames River from backing up McGregor and Indian Creeks and flooding nearby properties on the south side of the City of Chatham.
Peak flows on the Thames River have dropped substantially as they moved downstream. They are no longer expected to impact major roads or bridge crossings. Peak flows are still expected to pass by Thamesville late this afternoon or this evening but are not expected to impact the community. Peak flows are expected to reach Chatham late overnight tonight or tomorrow morning.
Water levels in Chatham have risen 0.5 m since yesterday at noon. Basement flooding is imminent for those businesses along King Street that back onto the Thames River in the downtown core. Water levels should be expected to rise around another 0.5 m by the time the peak arrives in Chatham. There continues to be a risk of low level flooding on Siskind Court, and a slight risk of low level flooding in the Chatham Street, Salter Street and William Street at Water Street area.
Areas downstream of Chatham to the mouth are not expected to be impacted by flooding.
However, there is the potential for impacts in the community of Lighthouse Cove. There are northwest winds in the forecast for tomorrow, when peak flows will be passing out of the river into the lake. Forecasts are calling for sustained winds of around 35 km with gusts up to 50 km/hr. These winds could cause lake levels to rise by around 15 cm around the community of Lighthouse Cove, which would also raise water levels in the Thames River. Just the winds alone could cause shoreline flooding in the community. Residents should be prepared.
Residents and businesses with properties that back onto watercourses and the river should secure their properties and remove any items that could be damaged by flooding or get loose and become floating debris. Attempts should also be made to ensure that catch basins and other drainage works are free of debris and can function properly.
The public should take extra caution and avoid the river, ditches, and streams. The combination of slippery banks and fast moving cold 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 January 17, 2020.
Message Contact: LTVCA Administration Office (519-354-7310) or Jason Wintermute (email@example.com)