High water levels in Windsor-Essex remain a concern
Water runs over Erie Shore Drive in Chatham-Kent, (Courtesy Trevor Thompson / Facebook)
There are streets in every municipality in Windsor-Essex that have had water on their surfaces according to the Essex Region Conservation Authority.
Director of Watershed Management Tim Byrne says the current weather system combined with high lake levels are the worst he has ever seen.
“This is, in the 34-years of my career, this is the worst weather system to be locked into and its record high lake levels at the same time," says Byrne.
Byrne gave an update about flooding and lake levels to ERCA’s board Thursday evening.
Officials believe all-time record-high lake levels will continue to trend upwards over the next several months, with little to no relief in sight.
“Outflows from Lake Superior right now are flowing at 138 per cent of historic recorded outflows,” says Byrne. “All that water is going to be passing by our door step, probably in three to six months."
Byrne adds his team continues to monitor the situation.
"We've exceeded the May and June marks," says Byrne. "The peak level, record level set in 1986 was in October, we are likely to exceed that level.
The Essex Region Conservation Authority says a flood watch will remain in effect until June 28.
The City of Windsor and Windsor Port Authority are also advising residents to use extra caution along the Detroit River shoreline or who plan to be boating during Fireworks Night on June 24.
Officials are concerned high water levels will create some dangerous conditions.
They point out the water is much deeper than normal and colder than normal.
Officials also warn obstructions near the shoreline that would normally be visible may be hidden below the water -- including docks, rocks and pilings.
Boaters are also asked to keep their speed below 10 knots when within 100 feet of the shoreline. The wakes from faster moving vessels can cause shoreline erosion and create an unseen danger for anyone to close to shore.