ERCA issues Flood Watch over concerns of heavy wave activity


The Essex Region Conservation Authority has issued a Flood Watch for sections of Essex County.

Due to the forecasted wind conditions this afternoon and lasting through the evening, ERCA has issued a  Flood Watch for the western shoreline of Pelee Island and islands within the western basin of Lake Erie, and for the Municipality of Leamington, west of Point Pelee National Park (Pigeon Bay).

ERCA projects the wind conditions will worsen throughout the day, reaching speeds up to and over 50 km/h out of the west and southwest directions.

West winds of this magnitude are expected to create strong wave activity which will cause significant splashing and spray, and may also cause damage to shoreline structures.

For the Essex Region, larger or strong waves are expected along the west shoreline of Pelee Island and the area west of Point Pelee National Park, specifically along Robson Road and southerly along Point Pelee Drive or County Road 33.

In addition to splashing, spray and potential damage to shoreline structures, there is an increased risk of accelerated erosion with the predicted wind conditions.

West Shore Road on Pelee Island is of special concern as waves can cause significant erosion and damage to the shoreline protection works along the roadway.

Should waves be strong enough, there is an additional risk of damage to the West Shore Road roadway

People are encouraged to take extra caution to avoid areas where flooding is occurring as well as rivers, streams, and shoreline areas during significant rainfall and wind 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.

The Flood Watch is in effect until 10 a.m. Dec. 7.