Strong winds and heavy rain on Thursday are forecast to cause flooding and shoreline erosion in and around Port Stanley. Kettle Creek Conservation Authority (KCCA) today issued a ‘flood outlook’ for the Lake Erie shoreline and the entire Kettle Creek watershed.

“Based on the current forecast, minor flood uprush activity could impact low lying areas along the shoreline in Port Stanley,” said Jennifer Dow, the KCCA’s Water Conservation Supervisor.

An Environment Canada Special Weather Statement calls for “strong winds, gusting between 80 and 90 kilometres per hour (km/h).

“Moderate south winds gusting up to 50 km/h will develop early Thursday morning,” according to the Weather Statement. “Winds will then shift to the southwest and strengthen to up to 90 km/h later in the morning with the passage of a cold front.”

Dow noted that Port Stanley is especially vulnerable to winds over 50km/hr from the southwest. “Storm surge can cause shoreline erosion, and damage to shoreline structures due to damaging waves and localized flooding.”

Mixed precipitation is also forecast, starting as snow then turning into rain Wednesday night and lasting into Friday. Cumulative rainfall totals of 10-to-25 millimeters (mm) are expected.

“Currently water levels throughout the watershed are slightly elevated from recent precipitation and snowmelt,” said Dow. “This can make rivers and lakes more dangerous than normal as conditions can change quickly.”

KCCA urges residents to exercise extra caution and avoid areas where flooding occurs. “The combination of slippery banks, waves, waves overtopping shoreline structures, and fast-moving water can be dangerous. Standing water can also present its own unseen hazards. Children and pets should be kept away from flowing or standing water as well as shoreline areas.”