Wallaceburg, Lighthouse Cove highlighted in recent flood watches
Rain expected to begin Thursday evening, continue through next week
Strong winds throughout the remainder of the week will produce water level fluctuations in Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair, according to the Lower Thames Conservation Authority.
The weather authority expects water levels on the Lake Erie shoreline to rise about five centimetres. In Lake St. Clair, specifically near Lighthouse Cove, water levels could increase by about 15 cm.
Rain is expected to hit Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent this evening, with forecasts calling for 25-35 mm of rain through Thursday. An additional 20 mm is expected Saturday, with showers continuing Sunday through Wednesday.
"Throughout this period, strong winds will be driving waves onto our Great Lakes shorelines in Lakeshore, Chatham-Kent and Elgin County," said the LTCVA in a statement. There is a risk that waves could damage shoreline protection works and cause erosion."
The rain, on top of elevated water levels, could cause the Thames River to raise enough to put water over the sidewalk in downtown Chatham.
Residents are advised to avoid shoreline areas, since waterways are expected to be slippery and waves could throw hazardous debris on land.
The expected rain has the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority (SCRCA) also issuing a flood watch of its own, particular for people living in Wallaceburg near the Sydenham River.
"This amount of rainfall has the potential to elevate water levels over banks and into natural floodplain areas, agricultural fields and parks."
The SCRCA warns high amounts of rainfall in a short period of time can lead to increased runoff and flash flooding, particularly in urban areas.