• Severe Thunderstorm Watch was issued for the Essex County and Chatham-Kent areas.
• Many ditches, creeks and streams are near bank full conditions and heavy rains could cause them spill out into low lying adjacent areas.
• On Thames River, flooding is not expected in the river flats from Delaware down to Thamesville, but low lying areas around Chatham, such as the sidewalk in downtown Chatham, could see water
Environment Canada recently issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for the Essex County and Chatham-Kent areas for this late this afternoon and this evening. While forecasts had been calling for only a few millimetres of rain, thundershowers could drop substantially more rain in a short amount of time.
Major tributaries of the Thames River are high throughout the region and in Chatham-Kent tributaries like McGregor and Indian Creek are near bank full conditions. With heavy rainfall over the last week, the ground is saturated and really can’t absorb any more rain. Should the combination of this afternoon’s rain and any additional thundershowers add up to more than a few millimetres of rain, water levels will be on the rise again. Some watercourses could rise to bank full conditions and some could spill their banks. The McGregor Creek Diversion Channel in Chatham is currently below levels requiring its operation, but additional rain could change that.
On the Thames River, water levels are higher than usual through Chatham-Kent. While there isn’t expected to be flooding of the river flats from Delaware through Thamesville, low lying areas adjacent to the river around Chatham could have water in them and the sidewalk in downtown Chatham is expected to be under water again.
Water levels on both the Thames River and its tributaries can be expected to remain high though the rest of the week as there is an additional 10 mm of rain predicted for tomorrow.
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 unseen hazards. Children and animals should be kept away from the water.
Contact: Jason Wintermute (519-354-7310 x227) (firstname.lastname@example.org) regarding this message.
This message will be in effect until May 4th, 2019.