Flood watch in effect for Lake Erie shoreline, Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, Sydenham River

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A flood watch is in effect until Monday morning for the Lake Erie shoreline. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC - image credit)
A flood watch is in effect until Monday morning for the Lake Erie shoreline. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC - image credit)

The Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA) issued a flood watch on Sunday afternoon for the Lake Erie shoreline, and primarily the western shoreline of Pelee Island.

The St. Clair Region Conservation Authority has also extended its flood watch for Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair and Sydenham River.

The flood watches for all areas will be in effect until Monday due to forecasted strong wind conditions expected to start Sunday afternoon, according to two news releases.

"Lake Erie is roughly 30 cm lower than this time last year; however, levels remain elevated in general as they
are roughly 50 cm above the Long Term Average for the month of March," ERCA's statement reads.

ERCA said it expects winds to speed up to between 40 and 50 kilometres per hour with the potential for gusts between 50 and 60 kilometres per hour.

"The combination of elevated lake levels and predicted wind conditions pose increased risks of flooding and accelerated nearshore erosion," the statement said.

It added the western shoreline of Pelee Island is of particular concern as it has "sustained some significant erosion from direct wave attack through a number of storm events" in recent years.

ERCA said waves along the shoreline can cause significant splashing and spray, with the potential for debris to be thrown onshore.

Avoid flooded areas, say conservation authorities

In a separate news release, the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority said residents on the Lake St. Clair shoreline may experience increased wave action, spray, and possible minor flooding and erosion.

It attributes that to high winds expected to reach up to 70 kilometres per hour on Sunday evening.

It also said a gale wind warning is in effect for Southern Lake Huron with winds picking up speeds of up to 65 kilometres per hour.

"Environment Canada forecasts waves to build to 2 metres this afternoon and 3-4 metres early this evening before subsiding to 2 metres overnight, diminishing further into Monday morning," the statement reads.

"Residents along the Lake Huron shoreline can anticipate water levels to rise due to storm surge, with the potential for minor flooding in natural floodplain areas. Shoreline erosion is possible with the increased wave action, particularly in the Old Lakeshore Road area of Brights Grove," it says.

Due to increased water levels from rainfall on the Sydenham River, which caused minor flooding, Stanley Line between Kimball Road and Waubuno Road and Waterworks Road north of Courtright Line should be avoided, says the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority.

People are urged to take extra caution to avoid areas where flood is taking place.

Both conservation authorities say they will continue to monitor conditions.