Flood Warning Issued – Lake Ontario & St. Lawrence River

Published on: 2019/05/08 - in Releases

The Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority (CRCA) has issued the following Flood Warning today for Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River:

RELEASE — The Provincial Flood Watch Statement, issued by the Surface Water Monitoring Centre (SWMC) of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry on April 26th, remains in effect.

The current water level measured at Kingston is approaching 75.5 m which is 0.5 metres below the Lake Ontario 100-year flood elevation of 76 metres in that area of the lake. The current level of the St. Lawrence River at Brockville is approaching 75.3 m which is 0.5 metres below the 100-year level of 75.8 metres in that area along the River.

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In 2017 water levels exceeded 75.8 m and 75.5 m, on Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River, respectively. Impacts in 2017 included submerged and/or damaged docks, boathouses and boat ramps, inundated/eroded shorelines, submerged gas docks (at marinas), flooding around homes and cottages in a few locations, and closed or constrained municipal roads. Some of these impacts are being reported again this year.

Residents in flood prone and low-lying areas should anticipate further water level increases through May, and possibly into June if wet weather continues.

Municipalities have been advised and are assessing the situation to determine appropriate response. If you witness flooding and require assistance your first point of contact is the local municipality. CRCA does not provide sandbags. However, information about where to purchase sandbags is provided at www.crca.ca/flood.

Water levels on Lake Ontario and the upper St. Lawrence River are managed by the International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board (ILOSLRB). This group adjusts flows to balance impacts on Lake Ontario and downstream on the St. Lawrence River. The current ILOSLRB forecasts indicate that there is a 50% chance of Lake Ontario water levels reaching 75.7 m towards the end of May. Higher water levels will result if wetter conditions persist.

Flooding and erosion damage from high waves are possible during periods of strong winds. The CRCA is urging residents to pay close attention to forecasts for approaching storms with high winds from the southeast, south or southwest, and note that the above mentioned 100-year flood elevations do not include wave uprush (increased water levels resulting from high waves).

A strong wind event is currently forecasted for overnight May 9th into May 10th with 20 knot winds (37 km/h), gusting above 50 km/h.

Property owners are also reminded to turn off electricity to buildings or structures in flood prone or low-lying areas and to move gasoline and other chemicals to higher ground. Any work along shorelines (e.g. placement of fill, armour stone, etc.) will require a permit from the CRCA. Call our office or visit our website www.crca.ca for further information.

CRCA would appreciate feedback from the public and municipal staff detailing flooding and erosion impacts. Please report observations on the online form at www.crca.ca/flood.

Staff will continue to monitor ILOSLRB forecasts and SWMC Provincial Statements, and update CRCA messaging as needed. This Flood Warning Statement will remain in effect until (or updated before) May 22nd, 2019.

For further information on water levels, wind and wave forecasts, and Provincial flood messages visit www.crca.ca/flood.

See below for watershed conditions terminology:

Normal: No flood conditions exist

Flood Watch: Flooding is possible in specific watercourse or municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should prepare.

Flood Warning: Flooding is imminent or already occurring in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities and individuals should take action to deal with flood conditions. This may include road closures and evacuations.

Release source: CRCA.ca
Photo (cropped): WClarke – Wikimedia Commons (cc)