Environment Canada says heavy rainfall may have set a September record

Fall is off to a very wet start in Waterloo Region and surrounding areas.

Environment Canada says the heavy rainfall that started Wednesday and continued into early Thursday morning could be one for the record books.

“I would not be surprised if some rain gauges in this area wind up recording close to 100 millimetres of rain,” said Rob Kuhn, a severe weather meteorologist with Environment Canada. “I do believe we will have set a new daily rainfall record for September in Kitchener-Waterloo.”

The weather station at the University of Waterloo also tweeted out Wednesday night that during the 24-hour period, starting at 9 p.m. on Sept. 21, they recorded 93.4 millimetres of rain. They say that’s the highest total they’ve ever recorded.

Environment Canada estimates between 40 and 152 millimetres of rain fell on communities in southwestern Ontario between Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon.

The rain caused localized flooding in many communities.

In Waterloo, water could be seen gushing out of a storm drain at Weber Street North and Lincoln Road, while in Kitchener there was flooding on Park Street.

In St. Jacobs, the low level bridge was closed due to the rising water and it could stay that way until the Conestogo River recedes.

The GRCA has also issued a flood warning for New Hamburg, Ayr and Drayton.

"This is a relatively unusual event for the duration and the amount of rain," said Cam Linwood with the GRCA.

It says flows in the Conestogo River and Nith River could peak sometime Thursday or Friday, and remain high into the weekend.

"As it heads on downtstream obviously the community of Ayr is the next affected, and it's usually 12 to 18 hours afterwards where they start seeing their peak," Linwood said.

He added while many residents who live in the watershed are well prepared for significant rainfall events, the range of this particular storm was different.

"It did have a high urban impact. There was a lot of rainfall and a lot of urban flooding so people that wouldn't typically experience flooding did see a little bit more this time," Linwood said.

Meanwhile in Middlesex County a State of Emergency was declared due to widespread flooding.

All local streets in Southwest Middlesex were closed for a period of time but have since reopened.

The Thames Valley District School Board also closed three schools in the area.

The widespread rainfall was the result of a cold front and a low pressure system moving in from the American midwest.

Down here at the Nith River in New Hamburg with @vidman getting ready to go live into the @CTVKitchener news at noon. Water levels are continuing to rise. #ONStorm pic.twitter.com/m2FroIDiTW

— Jess Smith CTV (@JessicaSmithCTV) September 23, 2021