Storm Causes More Damage to the Lake Erie Shoreline

Strong wind and waves over the weekend have taken a toll along the Lake Erie shoreline.

Pounding surf has left some breakwalls damaged and in danger of toppling over.

The Essex Region Conservation Authority's Director of Watershed Management Services says another storm will cause significant erosion.

Tim Byrne says the lake bottom makes it difficult to build strong enough breakwalls.

"Because the lake is so deep off many of these shoreline beaches, such as Marentette Beach, Pulley Road, Cotterie Park, the walls simply cannot be constructed at a flat enough slope to allow them to be stable for a long period of time," he says.

A flood warning was issued this past weekend due to the high wind and rain, which caused heavy waves along the shoreline.

"There was some dislodging of some of the walls that were repaired last year, there were other walls that never had maintenance last year that appeared to be OK, which now actually have lost some rock and some concrete modules, moved out and lost into the lake," says Byrne.

He says heavy waves also washed out a number of beaches.

"That has all dropped metres, not inches or feet, but metres. Three and four feet, five feet. So that instantaneous loss has unfounded many of those walls that had existed back into the 70's, 1970's," says Byrne.

The shoreline damage has also left some lakefront properties close to being uninhabitable because the shoreline is retreating to the road so fast, according to Byrne. He says the scale of breakwall construction needed to permanently preserve the shore is well beyond the ability of most property owners.

Byrne is also worried because its still early in the spring storm season and more adverse conditions are likely in the coming months.