Winter storm brings heavy rain, travel warning and flooding to Windsor-Essex
'This is a very powerful storm. The lake levels are set up dramatically'
Residents in Leamington and Kingsville are being told to take precautions as strong winds and rain have caused multiple road closures and a voluntary evacuation.
"This the most significant amount of water that we've seen coming from the lake inward certainly along Cedar Creek banks and its stretch into Cedar Island Marina," explained Kingsville Mayor Nelson Santos.
Here's what it's looking like across the region right now. These pictures were submitted to <a href="https://twitter.com/CBCWindsor?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CBCWindsor</a> from people out in Kingsville and Colchester <a href="https://t.co/FyMoqnHWQP">pic.twitter.com/FyMoqnHWQP</a>—@MelNakhavoly
Voluntary evacuations have been issued for residents on Cedar Island as water levels continue to rise above the shoreline.
"We're still monitoring it. It's not to the point where we need to call in any evacuation mandatory at all but we're all on alert," said Santos.
"We've notified residents. We've had police go door-to-door noting the concerns for them, wanting to make sure everyone is alright."
In Kingsville, multiple road closures are in effect including a large stretch on Heritage Road which is under water.
In Leamington, the areas of Cotterie Park are Mersea Road 2 have been washed out.
The Essex Region Conservation Authority says Sunday's storm has created the most extensive amount of flooding in Leamington from a shoreline event since 1998.
"We're going to see significant shoreline damage and erosion on the east coast of the municipality of Leamington," said Tim Byrne, ERCA director of watershed management services.
Homes surrounded by water
OPP and emergency officials with Leamington and Kingsville have been knocking on doors informing people of the weather conditions and checking to make sure they are safe to remain in their homes.
About 1,500 homes are surrounded by water, according to ERCA.
"This is a very powerful storm. The lake levels are set up dramatically and the wind speed and intensity are going to continue until darkness tonight. Without the wind subsiding levels can pile up higher then what they've been observing in the last few years," explained Bryne.
A rainfall warning remains in effect for Windsor and Essex County.
According to Environment Canada, rainfall combined with melting snow will continue into Sunday night. The frozen ground will reduce its ability to absorb the rainfall.
Officials are advising residents near the Cedar Island area to consider moving to higher ground until the weather improves.
If you are self-evacuating, officials are asking you to inform the municipality that you are leaving your home.
OPP have also issued a weather and travel warning for Essex County warning people to stay off the roads due to dangerous driving conditions.