Record high outflows on the St. Lawrence River to provide flood relief

The water levels of the St. Lawrence River in Gananoque on Thursday, Jun. 20, 2019. Photo by John Petch.


Although St. Lawrence River water levels have peaked and are no longer rising, flooding will continue to affect Kingston and the Islands according to Rob Caldwell, Canadian Secretary of the International Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Regulation Office.

Water levels have been stable since Sunday, Jun. 2, 2019, Caldwell said.

“During that stabilizing period the water levels peaked at daily mean level of 79.52m over three days,” he explained, noting that the water levels have been dropping “slowly but steadily” over the last few days.

The St. Lawrence River Board (ILOSLRB) reported a lake-wide water level of 75.90m on Wednesday, June 19, 2019.According the Caldwell, the entire shoreline of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River up to Iroquois Dam, as well as the Thousands Islands, Brockville, and Prescott areas will continue to be affected by flooding.

“The board has been passing record high outflows on the St. Lawrence River for several days now to provide all possible relief to those flooded upstream of the power dam,” said Caldwell.

Water levels of the St. Lawrence River in Gananoque. Photo by John Petch.

“It’s going to be an extremely long haul for residents along the water’s edge owing to the fact that many of the Great Lakes are seeing record high water levels right now,” Caldwell continued, explaining that Lake Erie, Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, and Lake St. Clair are also currently experiencing record high water levels.

“All of that water has eventually got to make its way down past Kingston,” Caldwell said. “It’s going to be a very long time before the water declines considerably.”

Caldwell wished to remind community members that local authorities and conservation authorities are the best points of contact in terms of flood response.

“Flood warnings and watches usually come along shorelines of the lake and the river during high wind events such as what we saw over the weekend,” he said, encouraging people to monitor the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) for those alerts.

You can follow the MNRF on Facebook here, and on Twitter here.

Water levels of the St. Lawrence River in Gananoque. Photo by John Petch.
The dock at the Woolen Mill in Kingston submerged in the waters of the Cataraqui River, a part of the Rideau Canal system. Photo by Connie Howes.

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