April 30, 2019 4:55 pm
Updated: May 1, 2019 9:05 pm

Shoreline hazard warning for areas in Toronto along Lake Ontario, risk of flooding and erosion

WATCH ABOVE: The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority has issued a shoreline hazard warning for the city and preparations are underway on Ward's Island. Shallima Maharaj reports. (May 1)

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The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) has issued a shoreline hazard warning for the Toronto Islands and areas along Lake Ontario in the city limits, saying there is a risk of flooding and shoreline erosion.

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In a statement issued by the TRCA Tuesday afternoon, the organization said wind gusts up to 60 km/h on Wednesday could bring offshore waves higher than two metres. It also noted the longer-term forecast calls for rising water levels of Lake Ontario until late May or early June.

READ MORE: Toronto Islands back in business after record-breaking water levels last summer

“Impacts to beaches can be expected as well as increased erosion along the Lake Ontario shoreline. Properties along the shoreline and the Toronto Islands which experienced flooding during [April 2017] could begin to experience flood impacts as the water level in Lake Ontario continues to rise,” the statement said.

“Wave action from southwesterly or easterly wind directions could exacerbate erosion and flooding impacts.”

City of Toronto spokesperson Brad Ross told Global News in a statement that municipal staff are monitoring conditions around the islands and taking preliminary steps to be ready for rising lake levels.

“Preventative measures are currently underway, including pre-pumping of low lying areas, readying 20 industrial water pumps to have in case they are needed, and filling sandbags and pre-positioning for easy deployment,” he said.

WATCH: Shoreline hazard warning issued by TRCA. Anthony Farnell explains.

According to federal government statistics, the TRCA said the current Lake Ontario water level is getting close to 75.5 metres. For context, in the 2017 flooding that drastically affected the Toronto Islands, the observed water level in April was 75.58 metres. The maximum water level throughout the 2017 event was 75.93 metres.

The shoreline near the Scarborough Bluffs also sustained damage during higher water levels in 2017.

The TRCA encouraged people to use caution around shoreline areas along Lake Ontario and avoid flooded areas.

The warning is scheduled to be in effect until May 8.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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