Environment Canada has issued a Special Weather Statement for Port Colborne due to potentially significant rainfall. A low pressure system will approach Southern Ontario from the southwest. Rain is forecast to begin Wednesday, Oct. 30 and end by the morning on Friday, Nov. 1. Rainfall amounts of 30 to 50 mm are possible, with the heaviest rain occurring in the afternoon of Thursday, Oct. 31. Strong westerly wind gusts of 90 km/h are possible Thursday night into Friday morning. A wind warning may be required as conditions become more certain.
What are City staff doing to prepare?
- Staff have been monitoring the weather and will continue to do so to prepare infrastructure, including municipal drains.
Factors that impact municipal drains during significant rainfalls are:
- The amount of precipitation;
- The duration of precipitation; and
- Wind speed, gusts and the direction of wind.
An increase in precipitation levels can increase water flow downstream from the drains toward the lake. However, when the wind increases, particularly a south or southwest wind, the levels on Lake Erie increase, pushing the water back into the drains.
Staff are monitoring and are prepared to respond to changing precipitation levels and wind direction, which can includes closing drain gates to prevent lake water from entering the drain, and then in turn pumping the municipal drain water over the gates into the lake.
Staff are checking all municipal drain outlets today, Oct. 30, and will continue tomorrow, Oct. 31.
Wignall Drain: staff are taking a proactive approach by closing one of the gates.
Weaver Road Drain: Staff currently have equipment fuelled and ready to pump at the Weaver Road outlet if required.
Neff Street Drain: Staff repaired the storm outlet on Neff Street on Oct. 29 which. Two pumps were at this location on a float system before the repair, however, until the storm is over they will remain at this location to confirm the integrity of the storm outlet repair.
- Staff are pre-installing road barricades at H.H. Knoll Lakeview Park and surrounding areas in preparation for an increase lake levels, for a quicker response time either during the day or after hours.
- Forestry equipment, including chippers and chain saws, have been checked and serviced and chippers have already been hooked up to trucks to respond as needed to downed trees.
Contractors have also been placed on standby by and are prepared to respond to an emergency call for down trees in the municipality.
- Crews in urban area are inspecting and clearing catch basins and grates for fallen leaves and debris. They are focusing on our vulnerable areas with mature trees to ensure water can drain properly off of the road allowance.
- Both operation and administrative staff are prepared to respond to an after hours emergency.
If assistance required during regular hours or after hours, call 905-835-5079.
It is projected that winds will change direction on Friday, Nov. 1. Once water levels subside, operations staff will re-open municipal drain gates and clear out the outlets of debris with heavy equipment.