Flood Watch - Lake Superior Shoreline

Monday, June 17, 2019

The Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority (SSMRCA) is advising residents that Lake Superior water levels continue to be above normal.

According to National Hydrological Services Great Lakes Water Levels Information, water supplies to all the Great Lakes were above average in May and water levels of all the Great Lakes remain well above average. Lake Superior has the potential to reach or exceed record highs in June should wet conditions continue. Although peak Lake Superior water levels over this period are not expected to cause significant shoreline flooding hazards (assuming average rainfall for this time of year), localized flooding may occur in low-lying sections of waterfront areas.

Significant shoreline flooding and/or erosion hazards could be possible in the coming weeks, if substantial storm surge and wave action occurs. Strong shore-bound winds occurring from the north or west would pose a concern; however, at this time no significant storm surge and wave action is expected.
SSMRCA wishes to remind residents to exercise caution during this time, as high water levels and/or wave action may pose public safety hazards.

Currently, the Lake Superior water level is approximately 183.8 m IGLD85. The monthly mean water level of Lake Superior was 36 cm above its period-of-record (1918-2018) average for May, the 2nd highest May level on record. For reference this level is just 6 cm below the record high level set in 1986. For additional reference, the SSMRCA shoreline flooding hazard level used for planning and development review is 184.2 m.

SSMRCA staff continue to monitor Lake Superior wind conditions and lake levels closely.
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