Quinte Conservation: Flood watch for the Bay of Quinte and Lake Ontario

May 3, 2019

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UPDATE #1 FOR FLOOD WATCH ON LAKE ONTARIO AND THE BAY OF QUINTE

Lake Ontario is expected to rise at least 14 cm throughout the upcoming week. Water levels will continue to rise before peaking in late May or early June.

As of May 2, 2019, Lake Ontario was recorded at 47 cm above average for this time of year, which is 13 cm below the recorded level for May 2, 2017. This amount is 43 cm below the peak in 2017.

Lake Ontario water levels are influenced by uncontrolled, above average outflows from Lake Erie, local rainfall and runoff throughout the Lake Ontario Watershed, and reduced Lake Ontario outflows, in order to balance flooding impacts on the St. Lawrence River. Record breaking water levels for this time of year have been recorded for Lake Erie. Above average precipitation was received across the Great Lakes over the past three months. Flood conditions continue on the lower St. Lawrence River. Flows on the Ottawa River reached record highs.

High winds, storm surges, and waves can cause shoreline damage and wave uprush.

Outflows from Lake Ontario will increase, as water levels rise, in accordance with the Plan 2014 F-Limit. The current provisional forecasts suggest that Lake Ontario outflows will be increased by early next week.

Flooding and other high water impacts have been reported from areas of Lake Ontario and the upper St. Lawrence River during periods of strong winds.

Shoreline residents are advised to either secure or remove loose items from their properties where there is a risk of encroaching flood water.

Sandbags can be effective in protecting your residence. Sandbags are not intended to protect shorelines and accessory buildings. For more information on ways to protect your shoreline, contact the Quinte Conservation office and speak with expert staff in the planning and regulations department.

Boaters need to be cautious of floating debris and should take proper safety precautions when out on the water.

It is important that the public never wade through or play in flood water as it is extremely unsafe. Flood water can be contaminated with septic and hazardous debris.

The public is advised to obey any posted road closure signs and to check with their municipality for updates on road closures.

If you are concerned that your shoreline well or septic has been compromised, please contact your local health unit. Do not drink the water and find an alternative water source to use. This message does not apply to municipal drinking water systems.

Staff will continue to monitor conditions and will provide an update if forecasts and conditions change. For current water levels or to report any observations of flooding, residents are encouraged to visit QuinteConservation.ca.

This message will be in effect until (or updated if anything significant changes before) Monday, May 13, 2019.

Quinte Conservation is a community-based environmental protection agency. It serves 18 municipalities in the watersheds of the Moira, Napanee and Salmon Rivers and Prince Edward County. It provides cost-effective environmental expertise and leadership. Quinte Conservation’s main goal is to create a sustainable ecosystem where people and nature live in harmony. More information about Quinte Conservation is available at www.quinteconservation.ca.

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