Flood Warning issued for Lake Erie shoreline, residents advised to avoid unnecessary travel

A Flood Warning has been issued for areas along the Lake Erie shoreline, along the Grand River downstream of Dunnville Dam & Port Maitland. Strong southwesterly winds gusting to near 100 km/h will develop suddenly early this evening as a sharp cold front blasts through, causing high waves and hazardous conditions.

This event is particularly a concern due to the snow currently falling and predicted, as well as the cold temperatures. Visibility could be an issue, as well as icy road conditions, plus ice buildup on homes/cottages along the lakeshore.

“Residents should stay indoors and not travel unless absolutely necessary during this winter storm event,” said Haldimand County Fire Chief & Manager of Emergency Services Jason Gallagher. Gallagher noted that the Port Maitland Pier has been closed and members of the public should stay clear of all shoreline areas. Haldimand County Emergency Services & Public Works Operations crews are standing by to implement road closures and respond as necessary.

The MNRF’s surge model forecast for the eastern end of Lake Erie is indicating a rise in levels of 2.34 metres (7.7 feet) above chart datum of 173.5 m IGLD85 at the gauge in Port Colborne. The peak above critical level is forecast to occur around midnight Sunday morning.

 

The MNRF forecast is predicting the following in the vicinity of Port Maitland:

Lake Erie current elevation at Port Maitland:        174.85 m (IGLD 1985)

Lake Erie estimated to peak at:                               175.84 m (IGLD 1985), excluding waves

Lake Erie Expected time of peak:                           Sunday, January 19 (midnight)

Critical Level:                                                            175.5 m (IGLD 1985)

Forecast (estimated) Peak Lake Level:                  0.34 m above the critical level, excluding waves

Area of Impact:                                                         Zone 2 flood zone along Lake Erie Shoreline

While some uncertainty remains in the height of the Lake Erie surge, forecasts indicate a risk for flooding along the Lake Erie shoreline and Grand River downstream of Dunnville Dam. Waves of up to 1.8 m are expected to accompany this surge event.

This flood message is in effect until 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 19, 2020 and will be updated as needed.

Information related to flooding hazards and emergency preparedness – including 72-hour emergency kit preparation – is available at https://www.haldimandcounty.ca/floods.

Current road closures

– Port Maitland Pier & esplanade closed

Flood Warning for Caledonia, Cayuga & Dunnville terminated

The Grand River Conservation Authority is issuing the following Flood Termination message. All Flood Warnings and Watches issued between January 9 and 13 are now terminated. A Watershed Conditions Statement: Water Safety remains in effect across the watershed through the remainder of the week due to higher than normal river flows.

River flows throughout the Grand River watershed continue to recede following the record rainfall event last weekend. A large amount of debris, including large trees and branches, has been swept into the river system during this event. In addition to the higher than normal flows and extremely cold water temperatures, this debris poses an additional hazard on local waterways.

GRCA’s major reservoirs helped mitigate flooding downstream in the Grand, Conestogo, and Speed River systems during this event, reducing downstream river flows by up to 60%. Water is now being released from these reservoirs, returning them to their normal operating levels for this time of year.

Stay Safe

The public is asked to stay away from all waterways due to the extreme risk at this time and reminded to exercise extreme caution around all water bodies. Banks adjacent to rivers and creeks are very slippery at this time and, when combined with current weather conditions, pose a serious hazard. Parents are encouraged to keep their children and pets away from all watercourses.

This message will remain in effect until Sunday January 19, 2020.

Water levels receding, but river will remain high for remainder of week

The Flood Warning remains in effect for low-lying areas along the Grand River shoreline. The river has already peaked and is receding in Caledonia, Cayuga, York & Dunnville, however, the river will remain high for the remainder of the week.

Haldimand County Emergency Services will be closely monitoring river conditions and are prepared to respond as needed.

Current road closures:

Caledonia

– None at present.

Cayuga / York

– Ouse St. (between Baird St. and the dead end)

Dunnville / Port Maitland

– None at present.

Parents are reminded to keep children and pets away from shoreline areas as fast moving water and slippery riverbeds can be extremely hazardous.

Flooding update for Caledonia, Cayuga & Dunnville

The Flood Warning remains in effect for low-lying areas along the Grand River shoreline. The river has already peaked and is receding in Caledonia and York, however, the river in Cayuga is rising steadily as water moves downstream. The river is expected to peak in Cayuga at midnight on Monday and Tuesday morning in Dunnville. Residents along the Grand River shoreline in Cayuga and Dunnville should continue preparing for a flood event.

The following flood messages remain in effect Cayuga & Dunnville:

Grand River (Cayuga)

Flows in the Grand River through Cayuga are expected to peak in the 1270 cm/s range around midnight on Monday. Flows are expected to exceed those experienced during the June 2017 flood event. Haldimand County Emergency Services have closed River Drive, Sims Lock Road, Grand Sports Drive and a number of other roads in the area. Conway Park has been notified and this area will be closely monitored.

Grand River (Dunnville)

Flows in the Grand River through Dunnville are expected to peak in the 1280 cm/s range on Tuesday morning. Flows are expected to exceed those experienced during the June 2017 flood event. Residents along the east bank of the Grand River on Main Street, upstream of the Dunnville dam should prepare for a flood event.

“Residents in these areas should continue preparing their property for a flood – securing items like patio furniture, moving valuable items from lower floors, making sure their sump pumps are working & other measures,” said Jason Gallagher, Haldimand County’s manager of Emergency Services and fire chief. He noted that a flood guide for property owners and other preparedness resources are available at HaldimandCounty.ca/floods.

Haldimand County Emergency Services will be closely monitoring river conditions and are prepared to respond as needed. Haldimand County public works staff will be implementing road closures as required throughout the event.

Current road closures:

Caledonia

– Forfar St. E.

Cayuga / York

– Ouse St. at Chippewa St.
– Grand Sports Dr. at Highway 54
– Sims Locks Rd. at Highway 54
– Abbey Rd.
– River Dr. at Highway 54
– River Rd. between Sutor Rd. and South Cayuga Rd.

Dunnville / Port Maitland

– None at present.

Parents are reminded to keep children and pets away from shoreline areas as fast moving water and slippery riverbeds can be extremely hazardous. Property owners are encouraged to contact their insurance company about flood insurance if they do not already have it. Residents should pay close attention to changing river conditions and watch for updated flood messages.

Flooding expected along Grand River shoreline, residents in low-lying areas encouraged to prepare

The Flood Warning remains in effect for low-lying areas along the Grand River shoreline. Flows in the southern Grand River watershed will continue to increase and result in significant flooding in some areas before receding next week. Residents in low-lying areas along the Grand River shoreline, including Caledonia, Cayuga and Dunnville are encouraged to prepare for a flood event.

The following flood updates have been issued for Caledonia, Cayuga & Dunnville:

Grand River (Caledonia)

Flows in the Grand River through Caledonia are expected to peak in the 1150 cm/s range on Monday morning. Flows are expected to exceed those experienced during the June 2017 flood event. Haldimand County Emergency Services will be closely monitoring conditions near the old arena and fairgrounds along the east bank of the river.

Grand River (Cayuga)

Flows in the Grand River through Cayuga are expected to peak in the 1270 cm/s range around midnight on Monday. Flows are expected to exceed those experienced during the June 2017 flood event. Haldimand County Emergency Services will be preparing for the closure of River Drive, Sims Lock Road, Grand Sports Drive. Conway Park will be notified and this area will be closely monitored.

Grand River (Dunnville)

Flows in the Grand River through Dunnville are expected to peak in the 1280 cm/s range on Tuesday morning. Flows are expected to exceed those experienced during the June 2017 flood event. Residents along the east bank of the Grand River on Main Street, upstream of the Dunnville dam should prepare for a flood event.

 

“Residents in these areas should start preparing their property for a flood – securing items like patio furniture, moving valuable items from lower floors, making sure their sump pumps are working & other measures,” said Jason Gallagher, Haldimand County’s manager of Emergency Services and fire chief. He noted that a flood guide for property owners and other preparedness resources are available at HaldimandCounty.ca/floods.

Haldimand County Emergency Services will be closely monitoring river conditions and are prepared to respond as needed. Haldimand County public works staff will be implementing road closures as required throughout the event.

Parents are reminded to keep children and pets away from shoreline areas as fast moving water and slippery riverbeds can be extremely hazardous. Property owners are encouraged to contact their insurance company about flood insurance if they do not already have it. Residents should pay close attention to changing river conditions and watch for updated flood messages.

Flood Warning issued for Grand River watershed

The Grand River Conservation Authority has issued a Flood Warning for the entire Grand River watershed. Flooding is anticipated in low-lying areas of Caledonia, Cayuga and Dunnville that typically experience spring flooding. Residents are encouraged to stay away from watercourses, ditches & shoreline areas during this rainfall event.

A significant winter storm is anticipated to impact much of the province through this weekend with precipitation beginning late Friday afternoon and persisting through Sunday morning. There is still a great deal of uncertainty with respect to how much of this precipitation will fall as rain before transitioning to freezing rain as temperatures fall through the day on Saturday. How this precipitation falls will greatly impact how local waterways respond.

“Residents should remain alert throughout this weather event, keep a close eye on changing conditions and watch for updated flood messages and weather warnings,” said Jason Gallagher, Haldimand County’s Fire Chief & Manager of Emergency Services. Residents are encouraged to contact their insurance provider about flood insurance if they do not already have it.

People are warned to stay away from ditches, frozen water bodies, streams, rivers, and ponds as the combination of slippery banks and cold, fast-flowing water is dangerous. Parents are reminded to keep children and pets away from all of these areas.

Landowners are also advised to make sure dams, culverts, and catch basins are free from debris and functioning properly. Helpful resources for property owners regarding flood preparedness are available at HaldimandCounty.ca/emergency-preparedness and HaldimandCounty.ca/floods.

Water levels are expected to remain elevated for several days following this weather event. Both conservation authority & Emergency Services staff will continue to monitor watershed conditions, issue updated flood messages and respond as necessary.

Weekend Forecast Calls For Heavy Rain, Potential For Flooding In Low-Lying Areas Of Haldimand

The Long Point Region Conservation Authority has issued a watershed conditions statement for low-lying areas of Haldimand. Current forecasts are calling for 50 to 65mm of rain over Friday and Saturday with the bulk of it expected to fall on Saturday, January 11. Residents are encouraged to stay away from watercourses, ditches & shoreline areas during this rainfall event.

The forecast conditions will lead to watercourses rising throughout with the potential to flood low lying areas if the higher range of rainfall occurs.

People are warned to stay away from ditches, frozen water bodies, streams, rivers, and ponds as the combination of slippery banks and cold, fast-flowing water is dangerous. Parents are reminded to keep children and pets away from all of these areas.

Landowners are also advised to make sure dams, culverts, and catch basins are free from debris and functioning properly.

Water levels are expected to remain elevated for several days following this weather event. Both conservation authority & Emergency Services staff will continue to monitor watershed conditions and issue updated flood messages as necessary. The watershed conditions statement will be in effect until noon on Monday, January 13, 2020.

Haldimand County Under Freezing Rain Warning

Environment Canada has issued a freezing rain warning for Haldimand County. Strong wind gusts up to 70 km/h coupled with ice accretion on tree branches and power lines could cause power outages

Precipitation is expected to move into the area late tonight or early Sunday morning. The precipitation will begin as freezing rain and change to freezing drizzle or drizzle early Sunday afternoon. For areas closer to the lake shore the transition from freezing rain to drizzle will occur late Sunday morning.

Several millimeters of ice accretion are possible over these regions with some areas possibly receiving a few centimeters of snow and ice pellets in addition to the freezing rain.

Travel may quickly become hazardous during this event. Haldimand County Emergency Services is advising residents to drive with caution during this event and pay close attention to changing weather conditions.

“There are a few key actions residents can take to stay safe & minimize safety risks during a power outage. Retrieving your flashlight and ensuring your cellular devices are charged are a good first step,” said Jason Gallagher, Manager of Emergency Services & Fire Chief.

If the power goes out, residents should:

  • Turn off all tools, appliances and electronic equipment, and turn the thermostat(s) for the home heating system down to minimum to prevent damage from a power surge when power is restored.
  • Leave their freezer and fridge shut unless it is absolutely necessary to open them (a full freezer will keep food frozen for 24 to 36 hours if the door remains closed).
  • Listen to your battery-powered or wind-up radio for information on the outage
  • Make sure their carbon monoxide detector is working. If it is hard-wired to the house’s electrical supply, ensure it has a battery powered back-up.
  • Protect sensitive electrical appliances such as TVs, computer, and DVD players with a surge-protecting power bar.
  • Use proper candle holders. Never leave lit candles unattended and keep out of reach of children. Always extinguish candles before going to bed.

More emergency preparedness tips and resources are available at HaldimandCounty.ca/emergency-preparedness.

Flood Watch in Effect for Lake Erie Shoreline

On Tuesday, November 26, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority issued a Flood Watch for the Lake Erie shoreline. The weather event forecasted for tomorrow is expected to be similar in magnitude to the wind storm that occurred on Halloween night.

A low pressure system passing over Southern Ontario tomorrow is forecasted to bring strong sustained southwest winds of 50 to 60km/hour with gusts of up to 90 to 100km/hour. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is currently predicting Lake Erie water levels to increase by approximately 1.5m (5 ft). Significant wave heights in excess of 2.0m (6.5ft) are also forecasted to occur all along the shoreline from Haldimand County to Fort Erie. Water levels will start to build early afternoon Wednesday and will peak early evening.

If the predicted water levels are reached, flooding of low-lying areas is expected. Shoreline damage is also anticipated with the significant wave heights forecasted. “Property owners along the Lake Erie shoreline should take precautionary measures now and prepare their property as best as possible for another extreme weather event,” said Jason Gallagher, Haldimand County’s Manager of Emergency Services and Fire Chief.

Residents living along Lake Erie should pay close attention to water levels and waves in their area and are urged to stay away from the shoreline during this event. Residents are also encouraged to contact their insurance company regarding flood insurance if they do not already have it.

This Flood Watch comes just days before a Flooding Hazards & Preparedness Measures Public Education Centre scheduled for Monday, December 2, 2019 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Dunnville Community Lifespan Centre (275 Ramsey Drive, Dunnville). Staff from the County and Grand River, Long Point Region and Niagara Peninsula conservation authorities will be present to share information and answer questions.

“We’ve already seen the damaging power of Lake Erie and the impacts it can have on our waterways and shorelines. With lake levels as high as they are, we really need property owners to understand the severity of these hazards and know exactly what to do and how to stay informed before, during and after a flood event,” Gallagher added.

The Flood Watch will remain in effect until noon on Thursday, November 28, 2019. Updated flood messages will be issued as conditions develop and better forecast information becomes available. Residents are encouraged to monitor the Haldimand County website and social media accounts for the most up-to-date flood and weather warning information.

Haldimand County Hosting Flooding Hazard Information Session With Grand River, Long Point Region And Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authorities

Haldimand County is inviting residents to attend an information session regarding Lake Erie flooding hazards and preparedness measures on Monday, December 2, 2019 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Dunnville Community Lifespan Centre (275 Ramsey Drive, Dunnville). Staff from the County and Grand River, Long Point Region and Niagara Peninsula conservation authorities will be present to share information and answer questions.

While Lake Erie’s static water level has decreased over recent months, there remains a heightened risk of significant shoreline flooding, beach submersion, crawl space/septic system inundation and wave-driven erosion. This risk is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

At the December 2nd information session, residents will have an opportunity to learn about the record high lake levels, the roles each agency plays in watershed/shoreline management and flood response, how to stay informed about flood events, and measures residents can take to protect themselves and their property.

“We’ve already seen the damaging power of Lake Erie and the impacts it can have on our waterways and shorelines. With lake levels as high as they are, we really need property owners to understand the severity of these hazards and know exactly what to do and how to stay informed before, during and after a flood event,” said Jason Gallagher, Haldimand County’s Fire Chief & Manager of Emergency Services.

A brief presentation led by Haldimand County Emergency Services and the Grand River Conservation Authority will take place from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., followed by a ‘meet and greet’ with County and conservation authority staff.

Following the presentation, residents are encouraged to visit information stations to ask questions of staff and find out specifics about their property, including whether their property is in a designated flood zone, which conservation authority jurisdiction they fall within & what permits may be required for shoreline protection structures/how to obtain them.

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