• 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 possible along Erie Shore Drive in Chatham-Kent tomorrow and Friday.
• Rain tomorrow and Friday could lead to localize flooding, especially in poorly draining shoreline areas.
A Strong Wind Warning has been issued by Environment Canada for western Lake Erie due to the potential for strong winds tomorrow and Friday. There is currently a gentle breeze out of the east. Forecasts predict that winds will begin to pick up overnight and become moderate from the southeast tomorrow morning. As the day progresses tomorrow, winds are predicted to shift to the southwest. There is the possibility that winds could climb well above 25 km/hr tomorrow as a rain system passes through. Winds are predicted to remain from the southwest for most of the day Friday and most forecasts suggest winds will be in the moderate to strong range on Friday. Winds could peak at over 35 km/hr on Friday. As winds switch to the northwest late Friday or overnight into Saturday they are predicted to drop in speed. Wave forecasts are calling for waves on Lake Erie in the range of 1 to 1.5 m by Thursday evening. In addition to the winds, forecast are calling for potential rainfall amounts in the range 15 to 35 mm total Thursday and Friday, with the higher amounts more towards London.
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 and mostly southwest wind direction with speeds above the 25 km/hr threshold, flooding is possible along Erie Shore Drive in Chatham-Kent, most likely on Friday but also possibly tomorrow. Current forecasts would not suggest flooding in the Rondeau Bay communities, but if winds don’t transition as predicted, there is that possibility. The predicted wind directions would not be expected to impact communities on Lake St. Clair in the LTVCA jurisdiction. However, weather conditions can change rapidly. Residents and workers in shoreline areas should pay attention to local conditions and be prepared.
Heavy rains could also cause localized 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 May 16, 2020.
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