Flood watch extended for Essex Region, including Pelee Island

A flood is in effect for Essex Region, including Pelee Island, until July 2, 2019.

The watch is in effect until July 2, when authorities will re-evaluate conditions

The potential of strong water surges along Lake Erie may result in damage to shorelines, warns ERCA. (Essex Region Conservation Authority)

The Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA) has extended a flood watch for the region, including Pelee Island. 

Authorities said that low-lying beach communities and shoreline areas along Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River and Lake Erie are central areas of concern.

The watch, first issued June 14, is set to remain in effect until July 2, at which time authorities will re-evaluate conditions.

Lake levels surpass record highs

Essex Region authorities used a Thursday media release to confirm that water levels in Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair surpassed monthly records set in 1986.

Lake St. Clair rose 19 centimetres between April 2019 and May 2019, while Lake Erie rose 22 centimetres during the same period.

"The new record for Lake Erie is not only a monthly mean record, but also an all-time high monthly mean record, surpassing the previous record set in June 1986," wrote authorities, in a June 27 ERCA media release.

Water levels at Lake St. Clair averaged 175.95 metres, while Lake Erie's levels averaged 175.10 metres, as of June 10. 

Lake Erie's levels are expected to rise throughout the rest of June, surpassing a new monthly record for the month, while also surpassing the all-time record for a second month in a row.

Lake St. Clair is currently three centimetres above its June record, and is projected to "meet or slightly exceed" its June record set in 1986.

"These levels bring an elevated risk of flooding and erosion across the watershed," authorities wrote. 

Authorities recommend monitoring flood controls

Essex Region authorities recommended that Leamington continue to monitor its flood dikes in the southeast Leamington area, "including the Mersea Road 1 Dike and the Marentette Dike."

According to the ERCA, the southern section of Leamington's Marentette Beach Road dike sustained damage from "recent storm events through spring 2019."

"Due to the damage sustained to the outer layer of protection, the interior corner of the Marentette Dyke is more exposed to direct wave impact from Lake Erie, increasing its susceptibility to erosion and risk to flooding," wrote authorities.

Authorities added that Pelee should continue to monitor "areas that have experienced significant erosion," like portions of West Shore Road and McCormick Road.

Additionally, Windsor has been advised to continue monitoring water levels along the flood control dikes within the Little River drain corridor. 


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