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High water levels, wind and waves cause warnings

UPDATE: Quinte Conservation watersheds are forecast to receive 50 to 90 millimetres of rain Friday into Saturday. The Flood Outlook statement for the shorelines of the Bay of Quinte and Lake Ontario has been upgraded to a Flood Watch.

“The main concern for flooding is on the shorelines of the Bay of Quinte and Lake Ontario,” said Christine McClure, Water Resources Manager. “The water level on Lake Ontario could rise up to 20 centimetres by early to mid-June. Rivers and inland lakes in our watersheds will reach typical spring highs. Widespread flooding on these river systems is not expected. Properties along the rivers that usually get wet in the spring may already be wet, or could expect water to encroach on their lawn. There may be some nuisance flooding of low-lying lands.”

High water levels, wind and waves bringing in debris caused Quinte Conservation to issue a “water safety statement” for boaters – especially in light of this weekend’s Kiwanis Fishing Derby. The authority issued a flood statement for PEC and surrounding areas last Sunday.

Friday, the County restricted access to, or closed a number of, docks due to high water levels and damage caused by the waves. Most of the boat launches remain open. 

Quinte Conservation has not installed the seasonal dock at HJ McFarland Conservation Area in Prince Edward County due to high water levels. The boat launch remains open.

The Glenora Ferry is also out of service until further notice.

Wet weather is forecast to persist through the weekend – posing a potential for flooding as the ground is already saturated from downpours this week. Rainfall amounts could total 50mm or more Thursday and Friday in some areas before tapering to showers Saturday through to Monday. The County has opened two depots for residents to obtain sand and bags to help prevent, or reduce, flood water damage.

“Water levels are high on the Bay of Quinte and due to wind and waves there are increased amounts of debris such as logs in the water,” said Terry Murphy, Quinte Conservation General Manager. “This weekend is the opening of walleye season and there will be increased boat traffic. We want boaters and anglers to be aware of this potential safety hazard on the water.”

During the clean up Wednesday afternoon, Pat Doornbos and Gord Ostrander loaded a tire and an aluminum boat that had washed up on the shore of Wellington Beach.

County crews were cleaning up the shore of Wellington Beach following Monday’s storm that washed up many logs and branches, a broken up dock, a set of stairs and even an aluminum boat, and a tire, onto the shore.

“The boat was bent in half and washed up on the beach,” said Gord Ostrander. “It could have come from anywhere, depending on which way the wind was going.”

The crews were doing what they could Wednesday while the sun was shining, and will be back on the site Thursday, rain or shine.

“We’ll bring in trucks and a loader and clean all that up,” said Pat Doornbos. “I’ve never seen the water so high in all the years I’ve been here.”

Visitors continued to walk along the beach and eat lunch while parked, taking in the view.

Al Harrott is glad to see the beach being cleaned up. He drove in to check on some nesting turtles he’s worried about near the boat launch.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen the water so high,” he said. “The brown in that water shows it’s churning up a lot of stuff. I noticed the other day the water was flowing out of West Lake into Lake Ontario, like it was being flushed.”

Late last Thursday, the County sectioned off a portion of the Wellington Channel break wall that was washed out due to high water. The wall is located on the west side of the channel between the water and the main beach. The beach and launch areas are open.

Tricky to sit on this bench by the boardwalk as the sand has moved in.

The roadway was also being graded, Wednesday.

Additionally, the south end of Wellington’s Park on Main Street has been closed due to damage to that wall’s foundation. The remainder of the park is accessible.

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