Another Sign of Our Times in this Age of Climate Emergency

Flooding Along the Shores of Lake Ontario Closes Port Dalhousie’s Popular Carousel in Niagara, Ontario Again

A Brief Foreword from Niagara At Large reporter Doug Draper, followed by a News Release from the City of St. Catharines

Posted August 7th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Climate change, scientists tell us, is quite a bit about the frequency and intensity of storms. So here we are again.

Just five days after the always so popular vintage carousel ride in St. Catharines/Niagara’s Lakeside Park was finally opened after what were record high Lake Ontario waters finally began to recede, the City of St. Catharines has been forced by another bought of flooding to close it again.

The carousel, which has been a hit of the season at 5 cents a ride for young at heart for decades now, usually opens in spring and rides on into the fall.

But due to excessive rainfall across Southern Ontario and other northeaster regions on the continent this spring, Lake Ontario reached levels that threatened or damaged shoreline properties in many communities in Ontario and neighbouring New York State.

A wall of sandbags City of St. Catharines crews installed at Lakeside Park this spring to protect the park grounds and the carousel. File photo by Doug Draper

The City of St. Catharines was finally able to open the carousel in Port Dalhousie’s Lakeside Park on Saturday, August 3rd for the long weekend. Then an n intense storm hit the area this August 6th that caused flooding in the area and brought down trees.

No one storm can be linked to climate change, but climate change is about the frequency and intensity of storms, and we have certainly been experiencing a higher frequency of more severe storms in recent years.

All the more reason for governments at all levels, with the support of residents in communities, to get going now on climate emergency plans

Now here is a news release, circulated by the City of St. Catharines this August 7th, on the need to close the carousel to Lakeside Park –

Carousel closed due to flooding at Lakeside Park

Aug. 7, 2019 – The Lakeside Park Carousel has been closed again until further notice due to high water levels. High water levels returned to the park on Tuesday evening due to significant rainfall, as well as waves and storm surge as a result of the inclement weather.

The City closed the carousel, which had just opened for the season on Aug. 3 due to the record high Lake Ontario water levels, and will be conducting an assessment when water levels allow staff to access the carousel safely.

There is no timeline for the reopening of the carousel at this point.

“With the higher than average lake levels and the intense rainfall overwhelming the system, it resulted in flooding in the park. We are working to protect the carousel and are conducting a complete assessment before we can reopen it,” said Darrell Smith, director of Municipal Works.

“It’s not just the static water level of the lake that can cause issues. With more active weather, like the intensity of Tuesday’s rainfall event, we see damages or impacts in terms of safety.”

The way the normally dry beach area at Lakeside Park looked for much of this spring and early summer. File photo by Doug Draper

High water levels continue to still impact other parts of Lakeside Park. The east Port Dalhousie pier and the Lakeside Park Beach remain temporarily closed to the public until further notice. 

Tuesday’s storms also downed trees and caused flooding in some areas of the City. Crews continue to respond to issues stemming from the active weather. Residents can report flooding, water on roads, drainage issues, downed trees and limbs and other blockages by calling Citizens First at 905.688.5600 or by emailing

With more precipitation in the forecast over the next 36 hours, City crews are cleaning and cleaning ditches, sewers and culverts to keep water moving.

If residents can do so safely, they are encouraged to assist by removing debris from ditches and culverts near their property. Basement flooding With the increase in rain comes the potential for basements to flood.

Here are some tips homeowners should follow to protect their homes:  

  • *   Remove debris from downspouts and point them away from the foundation wall, ideally onto the lawn or garden. 
  • *   Disconnect downspouts and sump pumps from the sanitary sewer system. During heavy rain, water discharged into the sanitary sewer from downspouts and sump pumps can overwhelm sewers, increasing the possibility of a sewer backup. 
  • *   Don’t put kitchen waste, grease and oils down the sink as they can clog the sanitary sewer. 
  • *   Seal cracks or openings in walls, floors, windows, foundations and window wells. 
  • *   Ensure the grading around your home slopes away from the foundation wall. 
  • *   Ensure your sump pump is properly working. It’s not always easy to determine the cause of a flooded basement.

When residents do experience basement flooding they should check their sinks and toilets for blockages and clear out if possible.

If this doesn’t help, call 905.688.5600 to report basement flooding to the City and call insurance providers as soon as possible. 

For more tips on preventing basement flooding visit<>.

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“A politician thinks of the next election. a leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders


One response to “Another Sign of Our Times in this Age of Climate Emergency

  1. Saving the voters in Montreal from drowning. The fact all of our ag land has drainage speeds up the waters trip into the lakes and the loss of organic content in it lowering the ability to retain water all come into play. It’s not all climate some is man made.


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