Lake Ontario Flood Watch Downgraded as Water Levels Drop

Published on: 2019/09/05 - in Releases

The Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority (CRCA) issued the following statement as it downgraded the Flood Watch (in effect since August 7, 2019) to a Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety for Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River:

The International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board (ILOSLRB) who manage Lake Ontario Outflows is reporting a lake-wide water level of 75.41 m as of August 29, about 51 cm below this year’s peak of 75.92 m which was last recorded June 15.

Water levels continue to decline this week, however, there remains a risk of flooding and high-water impacts during periods of active weather. Residents in flood prone and low-lying areas should continue to pay attention to forecasts for approaching storms with high winds from the southeast, south and southwest.

Article continues after ad

The current water levels measured at Kingston and Brockville of 75.31 metres and 74.90 metres respectively, are still above average (average annual peak on the Lake is about 75.0 m), but considerably lower than the highs experienced in June of this year. Kingston saw a peak of 75.88 m on Lake Ontario on June 14. Brockville saw a peak of 75.61 m on St. Lawrence River on June 3.

What this means in simple terms is that water levels, measured in Kingston and Brockville, have fallen 57 cm and 71 cm respectively, from this year’s peaks in June. The current levels present a much lower risk to flooding and erosion impacts along area shorelines. Though declining steadily, higher than average water levels are expected to persist for weeks to come.

The CRCA is urging residents to take care along the shoreline and on the water as levels decline further. Unsafe/unstable banks have been reported due to recent erosion. High water and wave action have deposited debris along shorelines and beaches, and floating debris could cause hazardous conditions for boaters.

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 Residents are reminded that it is the property owners’ responsibility to properly dispose of sandbags and sand, which is considered hazardous waste, and any other debris that may have been deposited along the shoreline.

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 for further information.

CRCA appreciates feedback from the public and municipal staff detailing flooding and erosion impacts. Please report observations on the online form.

Staff will continue to monitor ILOSLRB forecasts, SWMC Provincial Statements, and local water levels, and update CRCA messaging as needed. This Watershed Conditions Statement will remain in effect until (or updated before) 11:59 PM Oct. 08, 2019.

For further information on water levels, wind and wave forecasts, and Provincial flood messages visit

Release: Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority
Photo (Lake Ontario): Ad Meskens (cc)