• The Chatham area has received up to 30 mm of rain today.
• Ditches, creeks and streams in the west of the watershed are at bank full conditions and many can be expected to spill out into their natural floodplains and adjacent agricultural fields.
• Sidewalk in downtown Chatham is already flooded and Simcoe Lane under the 5th St. bridge is expected to flood.
• Watercourses are not expected to rise up enough to flood homes or businesses.
Environment Canada has issued its second Special Weather Statement for this Easter long weekend due to an additional 15 to 25 mm of rain forecasted for southwestern Ontario today. The Lower Thames region has already received between 5 and 30 mm of rain today with the higher amounts received in the west of the watershed, especially around the Chatham area. This is on top of the 20 to 60 mm already received since Thursday. It seems this weather system has now passed out of the region and there are only trace amounts of rain forecasted for the rest of the holiday weekend.
Water levels on the ditches, creeks and streams in the west were still very high and near bank full conditions on some watercourses before today’s rain arrived. These watercourses have responded rapidly to the additional rainfall and are rising even further. Many watercourses can be expected to overflow into their natural floodplains and adjacent agricultural fields. The LTVCA has now closed the dam for the McGregor Creek Diversion Channel so that McGregor Creek’s water is now bypassing the city of Chatham. Water levels on these local watercourse should be expected to remain high all weekend. People living and working near areas that typically see flooding during heavy rains should pay attention to local conditions.
On the Thames River, water levels have also responded quickly. While the Upper Thames has not received as much rain as to Lower Thames, there could still be flooding of the low lying river flats from Delaware down though Middlesex and Elgin Counties. The river flats in the Chatham-Kent area already have water in them from the heavy rains in the area. In the City of Chatham, the sidewalk along the river is already under water and Simcoe Lane under the 5th St. bridge is likely to get flooded over. At this time, there is not expected to be any flooding of homes or businesses. Water levels on the Thames River can be expected to remain high through the weekend and into the middle of next week in downstream areas.
People should take extra caution and avoid the river, ditches, 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.
Contact: Jason Wintermute ([email protected]) regarding this message.
This message will be in effect until April 24th, 2019.