• A Strong Wind Warning is in effect for western Lake Erie.
• Risk of shoreline damage, erosion and/or flooding all along the Lake Erie shoreline, including the high bluffs.
• Flooding expected along Erie Shore Drive in Chatham-Kent tomorrow and Thursday.
A Strong Wind Warning has been issued by Environment Canada for western Lake Erie due to the potential for strong south and southwest winds tomorrow and Thursday. Winds are currently light in the region. Forecasts predict that winds will begin to pick up this evening. Overnight, winds will become more southerly and could exceed 25 km/hr. Throughout the day tomorrow and Thursday, south or southwest winds are predicted to remain above 25 km/hr. Some forecasts suggest wind speeds could approach 40 km/hr at times, with the potential for periods of even stronger winds due to thunderstorms. Thursday evening, winds are expected to drop and become more westerly. Wave forecasts for Lake Erie are calling for waves of at least 1 m in height by tomorrow morning, possibly up to 1.5 m, with the potential for even higher waves later on Wednesday into Thursday. In addition to the winds, forecast are calling for thunderstorm activity with the potential for 25 mm or more of rain this evening through Thursday.
Due to high lake levels, there is a risk that wave action could damage shoreline protection works and cause erosion all along the Lake Erie shoreline in Chatham-Kent and Elgin County, including along the high bluff areas. Given the predicted southerly wind direction with speeds between 25 and 40 km/hr, flooding is expected along Erie Shore Drive in Chatham-Kent. Should wind speeds approach or exceed 40 km/hr, significant flooding would be expected along Erie Shore Drive. Residents and workers in shoreline areas should pay attention to local conditions and be prepared.
Heavy rains 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.
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 June 12, 2020.
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