The Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority (CRCA) has issued a flood watch for the Kingston region.
The watch was put in place on Sunday for Lake Ontario and the upper portion of the St. Lawrence River due to elevated water levels.
“Higher than normal water levels persist, and further increases are expected,” a CRCA news release said.
Lake Ontario’s water levels are currently at 75.3 metres above sea level, almost 50 centimetres above average levels for this time of year, and just 35 centimetres lower than the record high for this time of year, recorded in 1973.
Lake Ontario levels are currently 30 centimetres above their usual summer peak.
CRCA says there will be heightened risk of flooding, beach submersion, crawl space and septic flooding and wave erosion if the levels rise any higher than they are now.
The upper St. Lawrence River, which the CRCA says is greatly influenced by the level of Lake Ontario, is about 75 metres high, measured in Brockville.
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The International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board is estimating that Lake Ontario levels will reach above 75.5 metres in the week ending May 15.
“In 2017 and 2019, when levels rose above 75.8 metres on Lake Ontario and 75.5 metres on the upper St. Lawrence, significant dock submersions and some localized impacts to dwellings and roads occurred. Some of these impacts on Lake Ontario started to occur at levels between 75.55 metres and 75.7 metres,” the CRCA said.
Despite these early warnings, the CRCA says it does not expect widespread flooding in the coming weeks. It is warning that flooding may occur later on if wet weather persists throughout the month.
The conservation authority is suggesting those living on the waterfront or who may be living in flood-prone areas keep an eye on the weather, especially for high winds and rainy periods.
The CRCA does not provide sandbags and says residents must consult their individual municipalities for flood preparedness equipment, like sandbags.