Toronto lake water levels approaching 2017's extreme flooding

May 14 2019, 12:57 am

With more rain in the forecast this week, communities along the waterfront continue to monitor water levels for potential flooding.

This includes Toronto, which currently has a number of preventative measures in place as Lake Ontario water levels are expected to rise.

Currently, a shoreline hazard warning remains in place, as water levels on Lake Ontario are expected to continue rising until late May or early June.

According to the TRCA, the rising water levels can result in shortened beaches, localized ponding and erosion, which have already been observed at Woodbine Beach, Ashbridge’s Bay Park, Rouge Beach Park, Paradise Park Beach, Scarborough Bluffs, Port Union, and Rotary Park (Ajax).

A notice of caution has already been specifically issued for the Scarborough Bluffs due to the threat of potential landslides.

Additionally, the Toronto Islands, which experienced flooding and erosion in the spring of 2017, may also begin to experience major impacts as the water level in Lake Ontario continues to rise.

According to the advisory, the current Lake Ontario water level is 75.55 metres, and for reference, in April 2017, when the islands began flooding, water levels on Lake Ontario reached 75.58 metres.

The highest Lake Ontario became during the 2017 flood was 75.93 metres, according to the TRCA.

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However, according to City of Toronto spokesperson, Brad Ross, the rain isn’t the issue that is affecting the islands, rather, it’s the Great Lakes watershed that flows south from Lake Superior.

“In the meantime, we continue to pump water from low-lying areas of the island, sandbag at beaches and warn residents about eroding shorelines,” said Ross.

He added that the city anticipates the water levels will peak and begin to recede by the end of the month.

Ainsley SmithAinsley Smith

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