Latest News

Record year for water levels

CLOCA says flooding not guaranteed

2019 saw record water levels in not only Lake Ontario, but all the Great Lakes, according to Perry Sisson of the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority.

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

Records were once again broken in 2019 as water levels in Lake Ontario reached unprecedented heights.

According to Perry Sisson, director of engineering and field operations for the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority (CLOCA), record high levels were recorded in Lake Ontario.

“You have to recognize that all the Great Lakes hit record highs this year… despite efforts to get water out… we’re still heading into the new year with [higher levels],” Sisson told Durham’s works committee.

But Sisson cautioned against panic as CLOCA officials need to see what conditions are like after winter. He also noted March and April are typically when most problems begin as snow melts, and rain begins to fall.

But Brock councillor Ted Smith expressed some concern.

“For those folks who live along the lake shore, my experience is that Mother Nature always wins in the long run,” he said.

Smith asked Sisson what advice he gives to residents in the event of a flood.

Sisson explained residents in areas typically affected by flooding should be prepared with items such as sandbags. He also noted Durham residents were better prepared in 2019 after experiencing the flooding caused by high water levels in 2017.

With winter now in full swing and the problematic months of March and April still down the road, Sisson noted there could be future issues such as warmer and wetter springs, as well as more annual precipitation in winter and spring months which could add to water levels.