The Chi-Cheemaun ferry service to Manitoulin Island on Lake Huron. (file photo)

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement Thursday with wind gusts up to 90 km/h along the lakeshore of Lakes Superior and Huron, as well as Georgian Bay.

"A broad swath of 80 km/h wind gusts is expected along the lakeshore north and east of Lake Superior and Northern Lake Huron and Northern Georgian Bay today into this evening," said the statement issued at 5:19 a.m. "Isolated wind gusts to 90 km/h are possible."

The strong winds are connected to an intensifying low-pressure system that is expected to pass north of Lake Superior on its way to James Bay.

Wind gusts can damage soft shelters, tents and awnings, while high winds could toss objects and cause tree branches to break.

The strong winds could also affect driving conditions.

Communities affected include:

  • Agawa - Lake Superior Park
  • Espanola - Killarney
  • Manitoulin Island
  • Sault Ste. Marie - St. Joseph Island
  • Searchmont - Montreal River Harbour - Batchawana Bay
  • Wawa - Pukaskwa Park

Further north, thunderstorms with heavy rain expected into Thursday evening from Armstrong to Attawapiskat.