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Riverine and Lake Erie Flood Watch (Event Message #2)

January 12, 2020

Effective immediately, the Long Point Region Conservation Authority is upgrading to a Flood Watch for the Lake Erie shoreline and the Big Otter Creek watershed, including the Town of Tillsonburg.

Environment Canada has issued a wind warning for tomorrow, forecasting strong southwesterly wind gusts up to 100 km/h mid to late Sunday morning, that are expected to ease by around mid-day. The strongest winds are expected across Lake Erie and along the shoreline.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) is currently forecasting Lake Erie to rise on the lakeward side of Long Point by 0.3 meters above the current level to an elevation of 175.02 meters (IGLD 1985), and in the Port Colborne area 0.9 meters above the current level to an elevation of 175.6 meters (IGLD 1985). Strong winds are expected to cause wave heights to reach up to 2 meters in the Long Point area. However, NOAA’s forecast is currently calling for approximately 0.3-0.4 m higher levels at these locations.

With the uncertainty in the height of the Lake Erie surge, there is the possibility of minor to potentially significant impacts along low-lying areas of the Lake Erie shoreline and lower reaches of some tributaries, resulting in flooding, wave uprush and increased shoreline erosion. If the event reaches the higher range of the current forecasts, there may be similar impacts to the events seen on October 27th and November 27th of last fall.

Inland, approximately 25-55 mm of rain have fallen locally thus far, with higher amounts in the northern and western portions of the LPRCA. Nuisance flooding is expected in low lying and poorly drained areas. Specifically, Big Otter Creek is noted as rising quickly, and may cause some minor flooding, specifically in the Town of Tillsonburg.

Community flood coordinators are advised to prepare and monitor forecasts and stand by for further information.

People are urged to use caution or stay away from watercourses as the combination of slippery banks and cold, fast-flowing water is dangerous; and also from Lake Erie shoreline areas experiencing strong wave action and elevated water levels. Parents are reminded to keep children and pets away from these areas.

LPRCA staff will continue to monitor forecasted conditions and will update this message as necessary.

This Flood Watch is in effect until noon, Monday, January 13th, 2020 or until further updated.

Contact Craig Jacques at 519-429-2738 should further information be required.