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Lake Erie storm surge prompts state of emergency in Chatham-Kent

The Weather Network logo The Weather Network 2019-08-27 Digital Writers
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A local state of emergency has been declared for parts of the community of Chatham-Kent, Ont., as storm surge from Lake Erie swamps some shoreline homes.

The municipality's mayor, Darrin Canniff, made the declaration early afternoon Tuesday, covering the Erie Shore Drive area, which has been closed from Bissnet Line to Erieau Road.

"Residents in the affected area are being asked to voluntarily evacuate. Emergency crews will be going door to door to assist with the evacuation," a press release from the municipality read.

The municipality is offering shelter and transportation services for those who need it.

The extent of the shoreline flooding is extensive for some coastline properties, as you can see from the Facebook post below:

Post

The conditions on the lake that have fuelled this situation are something of a perfect storm for shoreline homeowners.

To start with, water levels are high, an average of 175.03 metres for the month of August -- slightly higher than the previous August record of 174.95 metres set in 1986, and 7.62 cm above its all-time monthly record.

Add to that the strong wind gusts that the area is seeing, in excess of 40 km/h, and the result is strong storm surge, with waves heights of around one and a half metres, though with higher potential. A bouy station near the flooded area recorded a wave height of 2.01 metres Tuesday morning.

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The Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority says winds will remain relatively stiff over much of the coming week.

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