Canada – Chatham-Kent Declares Emergency as Thames River Rises

Areas of Ontario, Canada, continue to be affected by flooding that began on 21 February after heavy rain and snowmelt increased river levels.

Last week the Grand River in southern Ontario had already burst its banks last week after torrential rains and mild temperatures. Evacuations were required in Orangeville and Brantford. Hundreds of volunteers have continued to search for a child who was swept away by floodwaters last week near the town of Grand Valley.

On 23 February, Chatham-Kent declared a state of emergency as levels of the Thames river increased.

Chatham-Kent

The Thames River in Chatham-Kent, Ontario, Canada, burst its banks during the weekend 24 to 25 February 2018, prompting evacuations and flood rescues.

The flooding was forecast. The Thames crested in London on Thursday morning and flood plains and low lying areas throughout Chatham-Kent were under water by Friday as the peak moved west.

Chatham-Kent Fire and Emergency Services Chief Bob Crawford said the slippery banks and fast flowing water posed a significant safety risk and urged people to stay a safe distance from the waterway.

“The current is very powerful and your odds of surviving if you fall in are slim,” he said. “It’s not worth the risk.”

City officials made preparations and Chatham-Kent Mayor Randy Hope declared a state of emergency on 23 February due to the imminent flood threat. He also requested an immediate voluntary evacuation of the community of Thamesville and officials opened an evacuation centre.

The Thames reached its peak at 5.25 meters (17 feet) above normal on Saturday evening.

Flooding was reported in some downtown businesses and approximately 13 individuals rescued from their homes including three children.

The high water placed significant pressure on drainage systems and dikes and some roads have been closed.

Although levels of the river are falling, officials are still warning residents to continue to avoid waterways and use extreme caution.

According to the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority, “high water levels can be expected on the Lower Thames into the middle of next week for areas through Chatham-Kent and Lakeshore.”

Thames river flooding in Chatham-Kent, Ontario, February 2018. Photo: Municipality of Chatham-Kent, Ontario, Canada

Social Media

 

Flood Summary

Last updated: February 27, 2018
Event
Midwest and Southern USA, Southern Canada, February 2018
Date
February 16, 2018
Type
Flash flood, River flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall, Long-term rainfall, Snow melt

Locations

A - Pomeroy, OH (United States)
B - Jefferson, OH (United States)
C - Belmont, OH (United States)
D - Cincinnati (United States)
E - Point Pleasant, WV (United States)
F - Marseilles (United States)
G - Peotone (United States)
H - Fairplain (United States)
I - Croton Township (United States)
J - Lansing (United States)
K - Elkhart (United States)
L - Goshen (United States)
M - South Bend (United States)
N - Janesville (United States)
O - Rockwall (United States)
P - White Rock Creek (United States)
Q - Stilwell (United States)
R - Sodus Township (United States)
S - Orangeville (Canada)
T - Brantford (Canada)
U - Niles (United States)
V - Chatham-Kent (Canada)
W - Kalamazoo (United States)
X - Union County, Kentucky (United States)
Y - Simpson County, Kentucky (United States)
Z - Camden, Arkansas (United States)
- Watseka, IL, USA (United States)
- Grand Ecore, Louisiana (United States)

Magnitude

River level
15.85 metres
Ohio River at Cincinnati - February 18 to February 18, 2018
River level
15.36 metres
Ohio River at Pomeroy, Ohio - February 19 to February 19, 2018
River level
14.478 metres
Ohio River, Point Pleasant, WV, - February 19 to February 19, 2018
River level
5.25 metres
Thames river at Chatham-Kent, Ontario - February 25 to February 25, 2018
River level
12.46 metres
Ouachita River at Camden, Arkansas - February 26 to February 26, 2018
- 40.9 feet – 60.3 feet (moderate flood stage) – 9.7 feet – 26.8 feet – 50.49 feet
River level
18.38 metres
Ohio River, Cincinnati - February 26 to February 26, 2018
River level
2.95 metres
St Josephs River, South Bend, Indiana - February 26 to February 26, 2018
River level
8.17 metres
St Josephs River, Elkhart, Indiana - February 26 to February 26, 2018
River level
15.38 metres
Ohio River at Cannelton Lock and Dam, Kentucky / Indiana - February 26 to February 26, 2018
Rainfall level
60.7 mm in 24 hours
Meridian, Mississippi - February 25 to February 26, 2018
Rainfall level
63.5 mm in 24 hours
Jackson, Mississippi - February 25 to February 26, 2018
Rainfall level
61.2 mm in 24 hours
Cincinnati, Ohio - February 24 to February 25, 2018
Rainfall level
77.2 mm in 24 hours
Louisville, Kentucky - February 24 to February 25, 2018
Rainfall level
80.8 mm in 24 hours
Evansville, Indiana - February 24 to February 25, 2018
Rainfall level
57 mm in 24 hours
Lansing/Capital City, Michigan, USA - February 20 to February 21, 2018
Rainfall level
64 mm in 24 hours
Grand Rapids/Kent Co Michigan, USA - February 20 to February 21, 2018
Rainfall level
69.6 mm in 24 hours
South Bend/St.Joseph Co., Indiana, USA - February 20 to February 21, 2018
Rainfall level
54 mm in 24 hours
Chicago/O'Hare, Illinois, USA - February 20 to February 21, 2018
Rainfall level
64.6 mm in 24 hours
Lurgan Beach, Ontario, Canada - February 20 to February 21, 2018
Rainfall level
76.0 mm in 24 hours
Lucknow, Ontario, Canada - February 20 to February 21, 2018
Rainfall level
73.1 mm in 24 hours
Flesherton, Ontario, Canada - February 20 to February 21, 2018
River level
7.25 metres
Illinois River at Morris, Illinois, USA - February 21 to February 21, 2018
River level
3.50 metres
Muskegon River at Croton Dam, USA - February 21 to February 21, 2018
River level
4.28 metres
Grand River at Lansing, Indiana, USA - February 21 to February 21, 2018
River level
8.65 metres
St Joseph River at Elkhart, Indiana, USA - February 22 to February 22, 2018
River level
3.80 metres
Elkhart River at Goshen, Indiana, USA - February 21 to February 21, 2018
River level
5.14 metres
St. Joseph River, Niles, Indiana, USA - February 21 to February 21, 2018
River level
5.27 metres
Sugar River at Albany, Wisconsin - February 21 to February 21, 2018
River level
4.86 metres
Calcasieu River near Glenmora, Louisiana - February 27 to February 27, 2018
River level
10.45 metres
Red River at Grand Ecore, Louisiana - February 27 to February 27, 2018

Damages

Rescued
6 people
Ohio - February 16 to February 20, 2018
Fatalities
6 people
USA - February 19 to February 26, 2018
Missing people
1 person
Ontario, Canada - February 19 to February 23, 2018
Evacuated
400 people
USA - February 19 to February 23, 2018
Estimated figure - no official overall figures are available for the USA