Warning issued of higher lake levels

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Authorities warn that flooding along the Lake Erie shoreline could be relatively frequent in the months ahead thanks to rising water levels.

The Long Point Region Conservation Authority issued an alert Thursday following news that Lake Erie water levels are at their highest point since 1998.

That information was contained in a report from National Hydrological Services March 1. The report says Lake Erie levels are 62 centimetres (24.5 inches) about the long-term average and 17 cms (6.7 inches) above measurements taken in February.

“As a result of the high water, there continues to be an increased risk for flooding and erosion along the Lake Erie shoreline,” Ben Hodi, a water resource analyst with the LPRCA, said Thursday in a watershed conditions statement.

“The greatest risk for flooding and erosion in the Long Point region in particular is from storms with sustained south-westerly and westerly wind storms. The risk for flood events along the shoreline is expected to remain high into the spring.

“People are urged to use caution or stay away from the Lake Erie shoreline during times of strong wave action and elevated water levels.”

As for the flood risk, Hodi said it is intensifying in shoreline areas now that rain and the melting of this winter’s snow pack is imminent.