Essex region – With this past weekend’s high winds causing flooding in multiple municipalities and storm season upon us, the Essex Region Conservation Authority is reminding people to exercise proper cautions during flood events. “Due to the elevated lake levels in Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair, there is an increased risk of flooding and erosion across the Essex Region including Pelee Island,” said James Bryant, ERCA’s Water Resources Engineer.
ERCA is reminding people to refrain from driving over flooded roadways. “Vehicles travelling over water-covered roads are exacerbating the problem for flooded landowners. Vehicle-generated wakes push additional floodwaters into people’s homes,” warns Bryant. Additionally, in some cases, roadways and ditches are not delineated, and vehicles can become stuck or stalled putting additional pressure on emergency response personnel.
In 2019, the entire region was under a flood watch for more than six months, and given the current water levels and ground saturation, a similar level of risk factors are currently being experienced.
High lake levels are also causing tributaries to remain elevated and in many areas, have reached bank-full conditions. With very little topography across the Essex Region, water is prevented from draining as quickly as it normally would, further increasing the risk of riverine flooding.
As a result of the elevated lake levels, relatively mild winds are able to rapidly raise water levels and generate waves capable of overtopping shoreline structures. Additionally, nearshore erosion rates are increased due to high water levels, further increasing the risk of damaging infrastructure and increasing the risk of flooding.
More information on about preparing for flooding can be found on ERCA’s website: https://essexregionconservation.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/FloodingFactsheet_WEB.pdf.
Officials will continue to monitor conditions and advise accordingly. Municipal staff should continue to monitor water levels and critical infrastructure.
For more than four decades, Essex Region Conservation has been sustaining and enriching the environment of the Windsor-Essex-Pelee Island region to ensure it is the Place for Life.
James Bryant, P.Eng.
Water Resources Engineer
Phone: 519-776-5209 x 246