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UPDATED: Heavy Rain Expected Late Sunday Night, Flood Watch Continues

Saturday May 18th, 2019, 7:13am


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Last updated: Sunday May 19th, 6:51pm

A flood watch is in effect for the area due to the high lake levels and predicted winds this long weekend.

The Essex Region Conservation Authority says this is for all shoreline areas in the Essex Region and major tributaries to Lake St. Clair, Detroit River, and Lake Erie, for a distance of approximately 1 km upstream from lake/tributary confluences.

ERCA says the Flood Watch issued on May 17th related to strong winds out of the south and west directions is still in effect for the Lake Erie Shoreline area, including Pelee Island. In addition, there is the potential for heavy rainfall scattered across the Essex Region for this evening with rainfall rates exceeding 10 mm/hr.

Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie average daily water levels are above record high monthly means for the month of May. Current static water elevations for Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie are 175.90 metres and 175.05 metres, respectively. These high lake levels are significantly increasing the risk of flooding, shoreline erosion, and damage to shoreline structures.

Strong winds are expected to continue out of the south/southwest Sunday with the potential to reach speeds above 40 km/hr and gusts above 50 km/hr. Winds will generally remain strong and shift to a more westerly direction on Monday. Winds of this speed, direction, and duration have the potential to impact the Lake Erie shoreline, including the south and west shorelines of Pelee Island.

Additionally, there is the potential for heavy rain late Sunday night with scattered thunderstorms across the region. Any areas impacted by this rainfall could experience heavy rates of rainfall well above 10 mm/hr and potentially up to 20 mm/hr for a short duration. Some areas have already received above 15 mm of rain.

Current forecasts are unclear on the storm track and of the total amount of rain expected; however, any additional rain at heavy rates will exacerbate existing standing water conditions and potentially cause additional localized surface ponding issues.

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