Overnight the Lower Thames watershed experienced intense thunderstorm activity that dropped somewhere between 15 and 50 mm of rain throughout the region. The area south of Chatham received the most rain with over 30 mm of rain recorded at many locations. One rain gauge in south Chatham recorded just over 20 mm of rainfall in a one hour period. Given the heavy rains over the weekend, the ground was not able to absorb much of the rain and most is running off into local ditches and watercourses. There is no more rain of consequence in the 7 day forecast.
Due to the large amount of rainfall within a relatively short time period, localized flooding is occurring. On smaller local watercourses, many are approaching bank full conditions and some have spilled their banks. The McGregor Creek Diversion Channel is operating again to protect the south end of the City of Chatham from flooding. However, Indian Creek that also runs through south Chatham is climbing quickly and isn’t expected to peak until later this afternoon. Water levels on Indian Creek are expected to meet or slightly exceed those observed over the weekend.
Water levels on the Thames River are not expected to come up much from these rains. The Upper watershed received only modest amounts of rain and isn’t contributing significant additional flows to the river.
People 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 its own unseen hazards. Children, pets and livestock 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 17, 2018.
Contact: Jason Wintermute (email@example.com, 519-354-7310 x227) regarding this message.