Water Levels in Lakes Erie and Ontario Reach Some of Highest Levels in Recorded History

“The records for lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are the highest for any month dating back to 1918.”                         – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

A News Release from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Posted July 10th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Sand bags piled in an effort to hold off Lake Ontario’s rising waters at Lakeside Park beach in St. Catharines this spring. Photo by Doug Draper

DETROIT, Michigan –– The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, announces that that based on preliminary data, new record high monthly mean water levels were set on Lake Superior, Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario in June.

The new record June levels are between three and four inches higher than the previous records for the month, which were set in 1986 on Lakes Superior, St. Clair and Erie and in 2017 on Lake Ontario.

The records for lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are the highest for any month dating back to 1918. Lake Michigan-Huron was less than one inch from its June record. Additional record high water levels are possible on all the Great Lakes and Lake St. Clair this summer.

“With another wet month across the Great Lakes basin, water levels continued to rise in June and have reached some of the highest levels in our recorded history, which dates back to 1918,” said Keith Kompoltowicz, chief of Watershed Hydrology, Detroit District.  

St. Catharines city workers piled sand bags around the historic lighthouse at Port Dalhousie this spring to protect it from what have become record high water levels in Lake Ontario. File Photo by Doug Draper

Wet weather continued in June, which allowed water supplies to the lakes to remain high. June was the third consecutive month with above average precipitation across the Great Lake basin as a whole. This persistently wet weather has also allowed stream flows into the Great Lakes to remain well above average for this time of year. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, in coordination with partners in Environment and Climate Change Canada, release the official six month forecast for the Great Lakes. This Monthly Bulletin of Water Levels for the Great Lakes is complete at the beginning of each month, with the latest edition covering the period from July to December. The link can be found at the end of this news release.

The Great Lakes region will continue to see the threat of coastal flooding and shoreline erosion especially during storm events. Localized water levels are often impacted by winds and can be significantly higher during storms. Water levels and flow rates in the connecting channels of the Great Lakes are also high and may, depending on winds and other atmospheric conditions, lead to localized flooding.  

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has authority to support communities in flood fighting by providing technical expertise, and in certain instances, provide flood fight supplies, such as sand bags and plastic sheeting.

Waters of Lake Ontario flood beach at Lakeside Park in St. Catharines, Niagara  this spring. Photo by Doug Draper

This assistance must be requested by state authorities. Communities should contact their county emergency management offices, who can begin coordination with the state and the Corps. At this time, The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, is providing technical assistance to Macomb, Monroe, St. Clair and Wayne Counties in Michigan.

To find the Monthly Bulletin of Water Levels for the Great Lakes visit: https://www.lre.usace.army.mil/Missions/Great-Lakes-Information/Great-Lakes-Water-Levels/Water-Level-Forecast/

To find more information about international outflow regulation activities visit:

https://www.ijc.org/en/loslrb

https://www.ijc.org/en/lsbc

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One response to “Water Levels in Lakes Erie and Ontario Reach Some of Highest Levels in Recorded History

  1. Gary Screaton Page

    On a positive note, I am buying land along the Escarpment near Vineland. At this rate, it will be waterfront property and go at a premium. Even more so will it if Ford keeps canceling green energy projects. Who didn’t know Ford is for business and not the environment?

    Like

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