Flooding returns to Norfolk County

Crews were working on Walker St. in Port Dover to remove sand and debris from the roadway before it could be reopened last Friday. Ashley Taylor/Delhi News Record

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Once again the lakeshore areas of Norfolk County have experienced heavy flooding.

Turkey Point, Long Point and Port Dover all saw high levels of water come in from Lake Erie into the low-lying areas.

Denise Kirby, of Long Point, had a tough decision to make on Nov. 1. Kirby owns a home in Long Point and a business in Port Dover, and she had to decide which she would tend to first.

While moving merchandise off of the floor at Lakeside Décor and Gifts on Harbour St. in Dover, Kirby said she was thankful for the crews that were working early in the morning to help clean up the damage done throughout the community.

Kirby said her drive out of Long Point included rocks and trees all over the roads, and bulldozers clearing the way.

“Luckily, none of the water came in the store, so the merchandise is fine,” said Kirby.

While her items at the store are safe, her personal belongings at home weren’t so lucky, with water coming into the lower level of her home.

Kirby said she would be able to return to Long Point through the road closures because she is a resident, though the southbound lane was closed.

“I had water going over my driveway, my boathouse is swamped,” said the homeowner. “I lost a lot of personal stuff, everybody did.”

Kirby had electricity at her store in Port Dover, but was without water, heat, and electricity in her home in Long Point starting around 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 31.

Other business owners and employees around Port Dover were busy cleaning up their storefronts and sweeping sand off of their sidewalks.

Matt Churly, Water Resources EIT with Long Point Region Conservation Authority, said strong southwestern winds pushed the water up and increased water levels in the area.

“The static lake level is very high right now,” said Churly. “Surge event when water levels are low aren’t that big of a deal, but now they are because the minimum level is already so high.”

Volunteer firefighters travelled to low lying areas near the water in Port Dover, Port Ryerse, Turkey Point, and Long Point to alert residents of what was expected to come over night with the high winds and rain.

“We had a bit of time and we had just had the first flood event and now we were looking at a second one,” said Matt Terry, director of corporate communications with Norfolk County. “We thought it would be a good use of time and resources to get out to the low lying areas and get ahead of things to let them know what was coming.”

Churly and his team from LPRCA were in hourly contact with emergency services to warn them about water levels across the county to help with road closures.

In Turkey Point, Turkey Point Road was closed at the bottom of the hill, Old Hill Road was closed at the top of the hill, Parts of Cedar Drive, and area side streets all saw closures.

Hwy. 59 southbound to Long Point was temporarily closed at Lakeshore/Front due to flooding on Hastings and Erie Blvd. Northbound lanes are open for people to leave the area.

Walker St., Harbour St., Main St., all had sections closed in Port Dover.

Police posted multiple times on the OPP_WR account reminding people to obey the road closure signs for their own safety. A vehicle that disobeyed the signs became stranded in the high waters in Port Dover Thursday night, according to a photo posted to Twitter.

 

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