Roads closed, flood warnings issued as water level rises in Chatham-Kent

The Thames River is expected to rise and reach levels not seen in a decade. The peak water level should hit Chatham-Kent by Friday or Saturday.

Roads in Wallaceburg and Chatham Township have been closed

The Thames River is already swollen in downtown Chatham, but officials don't expect the peak water level to hit the municipality until Friday. (Catherine Poisson/Radio-Canada)

Several roads in Chatham-Kent have been closed because of flooding and municipal officials are warning businesses in downtown Chatham to expect basement flooding as heavy rain and snow melt add to rising water levels.

The Thames River is expected to reach levels not seen in a decade, according to water management supervisor Jason Wintermute.

The Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority (LTVCA) upgraded its flood watch to a warning Wednesday and cautioned residents the peak water level is expected to hit Chatham-Kent by Friday or Saturday.

"All along the Thames River from Delaware to Chatham, the river flats are already flooded," said Wintermute. "Flooding within the community of Thamesville is expected.  In the City of Chatham basement flooding for those businesses backing onto the Thames River along King St. is expected."

The following roads in Wallaceburg and Chatham Township have already been closed because of high water levels, according to the municipality's manager of public works, Miguel Pelletier.

Chatham Township:

  • Richardson Road
  • Booth Road
  • Pond Road
  • Roads between McCreary Line and Kent Line 
  • Roads between Langstaff Line from Pond Road to Kimball Sideroad

Wallaceburg:

  • Otter Line from Water Street to its eastern limit
  • Water Street Extension from Langstaff to Kent Line
  • Nelson Street from McKee Road to Langstaff Line

The LTVCA and and St. Clair Region Conservation Authority are working to lower water levels and prevent flooding by opening the McKeough Spillway Indian-McGregor Creek Diversion Channel, Pelletier added.

"We're monitoring the water levels. Right now, we haven't activated any kind of emergency plans to evacuate or anything of the sort," he explained. "Although there is an emergency plan in place."

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