Flood Watch

The Essex Region Conservation Authority advises that, due to the current high static (calm) water levels in Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River, and Lake Erie, the region remains under a Flood Watch for all shoreline areas including Pelee Island and islands within the western basin of Lake Erie.

Water levels for Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie remain near the all-time record highs set in 2019. Preliminary information indicates that Lake St. Clair surpassed last year’s monthly average record for the month of June, while Lake Erie fell just shy of last year’s record of 175.14 metres IGLD 85. Predictions indicate that with average water supplies, both lakes could see a slight reduction in water levels; however it should be noted that, according to currently available information, both lakes remain well above their long term averages by roughly 83 cm (Lake St. Clair) and 75 cm (Lake Erie). Predictions also show that, with average water supplies, levels could remain near those experienced last year. This continues to elevate the risk of flooding and erosion near our shoreline areas.

High lake levels continue to cause downstream reaches of major tributaries to remain elevated. With tributaries full of lake water, it reduces their capacity to handle rainfall and has the potential to cause local rivers, creeks and streams to swell and potentially spill into low-lying areas under more frequent rainfall events than normal. This can sometimes occur abruptly as we move through the summer months where pop-up thunderstorms become more common for the Windsor-Essex area.

This message will remain in effect for the month of July. Officials will continue monitor conditions and forecasts and issue area-specific messages based on available information. As shoreline conditions can sometimes change quickly, our office is advising residents to monitor local conditions and to take proper precautions, especially as winds reach sustained speeds of roughly 30 km/hr. In general, areas of concern are described below with respect to general wind directions over the lakes.

Northeast/East Winds
– Lake St. Clair shoreline from Windsor to Belle River
– Lake Erie shoreline including Pelee Island
– Detroit River shoreline

North Winds
– Lake St. Clair shoreline

Northwest Winds
– Lake St. Clair shoreline from Belle River to Tilbury North

South/Southwest/Southeast Winds
– Lake Erie Shoreline including south Pelee Island

West Winds
– West shoreline of Pelee Island

The Municipality of Leamington should continue to monitor the flood control dykes in the Southeast Leamington Area, including the Mersea Road 1 Dyke and the Marentette Dyke. The Municipality of Leamington and the County of Essex should continue to monitor the shoreline area along Point Pelee Drive. The City of Windsor should continue to monitor water levels along the flood control dykes within the Little River Drain corridor. The Township of Pelee should continue to monitor areas along the shoreline that have experienced significant erosion, such as the West Shore Road and McCormick Road. Community Flood Coordinators and municipal staff are encouraged to continue the monitoring their respective shoreline areas.

People should take extra caution to avoid areas where flooding is occurring as well as rivers, streams, and shoreline areas during significant rainfall and wind/lake events. The combination of slippery banks, waves, waves overtopping shoreline structures, and fast moving water can be dangerous. Standing water can also present its own unseen hazards. Children, pets, and livestock should be kept away from flowing or standing water as well as shoreline areas.

Essex Region Conservation Authority officials will continue to monitor conditions and advise accordingly.

James Bryant, P.Eng.
Water Resources Engineer, Watershed Management Services
519-819-7912
Tim Byrne, C.E.T.
Director, Watershed Management Services
519-796-2300
July 2, 2020
6:00 pm
August 4, 2020 4:00 pm
Upon receipt, hand directly to the Flood Coordinator or Emergency Planner for your Municipality or Agency.
Upon receipt, hand directly to your newsroom.
Watershed Conditions –
Safety Bulletins:
High flows, unsafe banks, melting ice or other factors that could be dangerous for recreational users such as anglers, canoeists, hikers, children, pets, etc. Flooding is not expected.
Watershed Conditions –
Flood Outlook:
Early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high wind or other conditions that could lead to high runoff, cause ice jams, lakeshore flooding or erosion.
Flood Watch Bulletins:
Flooding is possible in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should prepare.
Flood Warning Bulletins:
Flooding is imminent or already occurring in specific watercourses or municipalities.