Forecast strong winds with gusts up to 100 km/hr may result in flooding and erosion problems along the Lake Huron shoreline.
A large low-pressure system continues to move across the Maitland and Nine Mile River watersheds today (Thursday, October 31, 2019), bringing with it high winds. Forecasted winds speeds over southern Lake Huron have strengthened significantly since yesterday’s shoreline message was issued. Strong northwest winds are expected to begin this evening and peak overnight and into Friday (November 1, 2019). Maximum sustained wind speeds of 60 km/hr, with gusts of up to 100 km/hr are possible with this event. Although the duration of the peak winds is expected to be short-lived, winds will remain steady out of the northwest, before shifting southwest and slowly diminishing late in the day Friday.
The strong winds, combined with near record-high water levels on Lake Huron, will result in higher than normal waves hitting shoreline areas. It is possible that lake levels and flooding issues could exceed those experienced during the October 17th storm.
In addition to flooding of low-lying coastal areas, continued erosion of the lakeshore bluff is likely. Particularly vulnerable will be areas that experienced significant erosion during the October 17th storm.
Residents and municipal officials are reminded to stay well back from breaking waves, and also to stay away from top-of-bluff areas during and after the storm, in case there has been any movement of the lake bank. It is important to remember that there may be a delay between erosion at the toe (bottom) of the bluff and subsequent bluff failure.
This message will remain in effect until 9:00 a.m. on Monday, November 4, 2019, unless local conditions warrant further updates. Maitland Conservation will continue to monitor watershed conditions and will provide an update if required.
Stephen Jackson, Flood and Erosion Safety Services Coordinator
Types of Flood Messages:
Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety – General watershed conditions are being assessed for high runoff potential that could lead to flooding, and to remind the public of general river safety issues.
Watershed Conditions Statement – Flood Outlook – Early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high wind or other conditions that could lead to high runoff, cause ice jams, lakeshore flooding or erosion.
Flood Watch – Flooding is possible in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should prepare.
Flood Warning – Flooding is imminent or already occurring in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities and individuals should take action to deal with flood conditions. This may include road closures and evacuations.