The Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority (CRCA) has updated its Flood Warning Statement for Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River today with the following release:
The International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board (ILOSLRB) is reporting a lake-wide water level of 75.91 m, as of June 23. Despite sustained record-high outflows of 10,400 m3/s, equivalent to those released for several weeks during the summer of 2017, water levels remain 1 cm below this year’s peak of 75.92 m, last recorded June 15.
The ILOSLRB states that, “Lake Erie and Lake Ontario are forecast to see additional rainfall, with potentially severe thunderstorms today. With record-high outflows continuing, this is not likely to raise levels significantly, but water levels may remain near current values for at least the next few days.”
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The current water levels measured at Kingston and Brockville are 75.85 metres and 75.47 metres respectively, which are similar to the peaks in 2017, but still below the 100-year flood levels of 76.0 meters and 75.8 metres in those areas.
An Updated Provincial Flood Watch Statement, issued by the Surface Water Monitoring Centre (SWMC) of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry on June 6, remains in effect.
Impacts that are imminent or already occurring include submerged and/or damaged docks, boathouses and boat ramps, inundated/eroded shorelines, submerged gas docks (at marinas), flooding in and around homes and cottages in a few locations, and closed or constrained municipal roads.
What this means in simple terms is that very high (near record peak) water levels remain, resulting in localized flooding and erosion impacts in flood prone and low-lying areas. Depending on rainfall amounts, current water levels may be sustained for a few days before they begin a gradual decline. It is expected that flooding and erosion damage from high waves will continue to be a concern during periods of strong winds for weeks to come.
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).
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 crca.ca/flood.
A Strong Wind Warning issued by Environment Canada is currently in effect for Eastern Lake Ontario. The forecast includes periods of 15 to 20 knot winds from the west and southwest over the coming days.
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 appreciates feedback from the public and municipal staff detailing flooding and erosion impacts. Please report observations on the online form at 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) July 24, 2019.
For further information on water levels, wind and wave forecasts, and Provincial flood messages visit crca.ca/flood.