• Winds between moderate and strong in the forecasts every day for the rest of the week.
• Some risk of shoreline damage, erosion and/or flooding along the Lake Erie shoreline, including the high bluff areas.
• Along Erie Shore Drive, low level flooding is possible any day this week, with the risk of more severe flooding late on Wednesday.
• Some risk to other communities along the shoreline, such as Shrewsbury, Rose Beach Line, and Wheatley, with a higher risk late on Wednesday.
Weather forecasts are calling for moderate to strong winds every day for the rest of the week. This afternoon, winds are predicted to pick up in speed and switch to a more south or southeast direction. Overnight, winds could exceed 25 km/hr from a generally southerly direction, which could last into the morning tomorrow. After a brief lull, winds are predicted to pick up again overnight Tuesday and remain moderate to strong into Thursday morning. Some forecasts are predicting winds could approach 45 km/hr from the south or southeast late on Wednesday. Thursday is starting to get a bit far out for wind forecasts, but long range forecasts suggest generally southerly winds above 25 km/hr for Thursday and northwest winds above 25 km/hr on Friday. In addition to the winds, there are rainfall totals of 20 to 35 mm predicted for late Tuesday through Thursday.
Although the wind speeds in the forecasts are not considered particularly strong, the record high water levels on Lake Erie are making the shoreline particularly vulnerable. While winds are generally out of the south, they will be driving waves onto our Lake Erie shoreline throughout Chatham-Kent and Elgin County. There is some risk that wave action could damage shoreline protection works and cause erosion all along the shoreline, including along the high bluff areas. While winds are out of the southeast, there is an increased risk for east facing shoreline communities such as Shrewsbury, the Rose Beach Line area, and areas around Wheatley. Recently, Erie Shore Drive has seen flooding with wind speeds above 25 km/hr from a generally southerly direction. Such conditions are expected for most of the week, so low level flooding could be expected any day this week. Higher winds predicted for late Wednesday could lead to more severe flooding along Erie Shore Drive. There would also be a greater risk late Wednesday for other shoreline areas and communities due to the higher winds predicted at that time.
The rain in the forecast could also cause flooding in low lying shoreline areas. Due to the high lake levels, the groundwater table is high and storm water sewer systems and local watercourses are full 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. The community of Shrewsbury is one example of an area vulnerable to this.
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 May 2, 2020.
Message Contact: Jason Wintermute ([email protected])