VIDEO: State of Emergency Declared in Chatham-Kent

A State of Emergency has now been declared in Chatham-Kent.

Mayor Darrin Canniff  declared the emergency  Friday morning due to a failed dike in the Thamas River and it breached in several locations around Poppe Road and Buchanan Line in Tilbury.

Municipal staff are currently repairing the dike and Chatham-Kent police are going door-to-door to notify residents.

The public is asked to avoid the area to allow emergency repairs to take place without interruption.

Speaking at Poppe Rd and Buchanan Line in Tilbury, Chatham-Kent Mayor Darrin Canniff says some areas are worse than others

"There have been some leaks in the dikes. We have had a number of crew from the municipality out here fixing them, right now it is stable, but as you can see back here, there is an ice jam. This is about 12-15ft higher than it normally is, so that's the concern."

Canniff is hoping Mother Nature co-operates and temperatures slowly rise, without any rain.

Chatham-Kent Drainage Director Tim Dick is warning residents to stay away from the ice jams.

"I think it is just a bad idea to be anywhere near it or on it, it is as simple as that," he says.  "The power of one of these jams when they let go is incredible, I have seen it a couple of times in my career and you don't want to be anywhere near, certainly downstream of it because it is going to take anything with it that it wants including you."

Mayor Canniff says so far, there have been mostly property issues and residents from eight homes have been displaced.

The Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority says an ice jam formed at the Prairie Siding Bridge and caused flooding to low-lying areas.  It broke up and moved to the mouth of the river at Lighthouse Cove where flooding is possible.

Huge ice dam in the Thames River at Lighthouse Cove is causing flooding back into Chatham. #cklw @AM800News pic.twitter.com/DolLAmNbwZ

— Peter Langille (@PLangille800) February 8, 2019