Lake Ontario & the Upper St. Lawrence River
(Static Water Level)
June 16, 2020
Cataraqui Conservation has downgraded the Flood Watch (in effect since April 12, 2020), to a Shoreline Conditions Statement – Water Safety for Lake Ontario and the upper St. Lawrence River.
While the current water level on Lake Ontario (75.25 m IGLD 1985), which greatly influences the upper St. Lawrence River, is still about 25 cm higher than normal for this time of year, it has dropped below the Flood Watch threshold. Though declining slowly, higher than average water levels are expected to persist for weeks to come.
Cataraqui Conservation is urging residents to take care along the shoreline and on the water as levels decline further. Unsafe/unstable banks may exist due to recent erosion. High water and wave action have deposited debris along shorelines and beaches, and floating debris may cause hazardous conditions for boaters.
The risk of localized nuisance flooding and high-water impacts is reducing with the declining water levels; however, some risk remains during periods of active weather. Residents in flood prone and low-lying areas should continue to pay attention to forecasts for approaching storms with high winds from the southeast, south and southwest.
Publicly available water level forecasts are updated weekly by the International Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River Board (ILOSLRB) (links provided further down this statement).
If you witness flooding and require assistance, your first point of contact is the local municipality. Cataraqui Conservation does not provide sandbags. However, information about where to purchase sandbags is provided at www.crca.ca/flood. Residents are reminded that it is the property owner’s responsibility to properly dispose of sandbags and sand, which is considered hazardous waste, and any other debris that may have been deposited along the shoreline.
Any work along shorelines (e.g. placement of fill, armour stone, etc.) will require a permit from Cataraqui Conservation. Call our office or visit our website www.crca.ca for further information.
Cataraqui Conservation appreciates feedback from the public and municipal staff detailing flooding and erosion impacts. Please report observations on the online form at www.crca.ca/flood.
For further information on water levels, wind and wave forecasts, and Provincial flood messages visit www.crca.ca/flood.
For information directly from the International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board visit:
- Main website - www.ijc.org/en/loslrb
- 2017 and 2019 High Water Events page – www.ijc.org/en/loslrb/watershed/2017-and- 2019-high-water-events
- Current conditions - https://www.ijc.org/en/loslrb/watershed/current-conditions
- Water level forecasts - https://www.ijc.org/en/loslrb/watershed/forecasts
Cataraqui Conservation staff will continue to monitor ILOSLRB water level forecasts, Surface Water Monitoring Centre Provincial Statements, local water levels, and update Cataraqui Conservation messaging as needed. This Shoreline Conditions Statement will remain in effect until (or updated before) 11:59 PM July 30, 2020.
See below for watershed conditions terminology:
Normal: No flood conditions exist
Shoreline Conditions Statement – Water Safety: Higher than average water levels, unsafe banks, or other factors that could be dangerous for recreational users and shoreline residents. Flooding is not expected.
Shoreline Conditions Statement – Flood Outlook: Early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather and lake conditions.
Flood Watch: Flooding is possible in specific watercourse or municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should prepare.
Flood Warning: Flooding is imminent or already occurring in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities and individuals should