February 8, 2019 4:34 pm
Updated: February 8, 2019 4:46 pm

Potential for flooding prompts Chatham-Kent to issue state of emergency

Photo of the ice jam in the Thames River near Chatham

Municipality of Chatham-Kent Facebook page

Officials in Chatham-Kent are keeping watchful eyes on the Thames River as ice jams have the potential to lead to major flooding in the area.

Mayor Darrin Canniff issued a video message Friday morning, saying the municipality was issuing a state of emergency as a precaution. The state of emergency covers an area from Chatham to Lake St. Clair.

READ MORE: Strong and gusty winds in store for London area on Friday

Canniff says issuing the designation is only a precaution and it will give authorities more flexibility to do what needs to be done to respond to the situation.

“There are a number of dykes that are breaking, and we have a number of crews out there preparing to fix them, but we need to have that flexibility if needed.”

By early Friday afternoon, the St. Clair Conservation Authority was reporting localized flooding in low-lying areas and floodplains was already occurring.

In a tweet around 3 p.m., electrical distributor Entegrus said there was significant flooding in Chatham-Kent along the river, advising residents to watch out for any downed power lines.

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