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Concerns mount during State of Emergency in Chatham-Kent
A day after a State of Emergency was declared in Chatham Kent, the cleanup continues along Erie Shore Drive and concern over what’s next mounts.
The State of Emergency remains in place on Erie Shore Drive between Erieau Road and the Bisnett Line on Wednesday.
Municipal officials say timing for repairs is weather dependent.
"It's about time that somebody came up with a plan," says resident Trevor Dixon.
Dixon says it's a living hell trying to stay ahead of Lake Erie's destructive force.
“They can build canals, they can build hydro dams. We can't fix a couple kilometers of shoreline?" says Dixon.
He says something has to happen before it's too late.
"How can we just leave? Because all of a sudden, I'm responsible for this property, I own this property. Am I allowed to let it fall into the lake?" says Dixon.
The Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority has issued a flood warning for Erie Shore Drive.
Based on weather forecasts, LTVCA says flooding along Erie Shore Drive is expected again Wednesday afternoon and evening, similar to what occurred Tuesday morning.
Erie Shore Drive has been closed to all traffic. Non-emergency related personnel are asked to avoid the area.
Longer range forecasts still suggest the potential for further flooding Thursday afternoon into Friday morning.
The conservation authority says other areas along the Lake Erie shoreline with south facings, including the high bluff areas, are also at risk of shoreline damage.
The strong wind warning for Lake Erie also remains in effect. Tuesday afternoon, winds had subsided and switched to the west. However, winds are still forecasted to switch back to the southwest and climb above 30 km/hr.
Forecasts suggest winds could peak at over 35 km/hr in late Wednesday afternoon or early evening within gusts of up to 55 km/hr. Marine forecasts suggest waves on Lake Erie could reach 1.5 m in height again Wednesday afternoon.
In addition, longer range forecasts are still suggesting sustained southwest winds over 30 km/hr Thursday afternoon through Friday morning.
LTVCA officials say a large number of homes along Erie Shore Drive have been impacted, many stretches of shoreline protection were damaged and even the roadway itself has been damaged.
This makes the Erie Shore Drive particularly vulnerable to further flood damages as there hasn’t been time to make repairs. Residents and emergency responders should be prepared as flood conditions could be similar to what was experienced Tuesday morning.
Officials are concerned that the road has been compromised and Erie Shore Drive has been closed to all traffic. Non-emergency related personnel are asked to avoid the area.
For information regarding the provision of municipal services and evacuations, residents are aslked to contact the Municipality of Chatham-Kent at 519-360-1998.