Flood warning for Monroe County as rain douses the region

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News
Wind creates ripples in flood waters in a field on Friday, March 15, 2019 in the village of Vernon, Mich.

Rainfall spreading across the region has prompted the National Weather Service to issue a flood warning for Monroe County through 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Near Toledo, "the water level is now forecast to rise to around 76 inches through tonight, which may cause flooding of low lying areas near the shoreline, especially when combined with high waves," the alert read. "... High water level combined with high waves will lead to significant beach erosion in some areas and localized lakeshore flooding."

Meanwhile, lakeshore flood advisories remain in effect from 4 a.m.- 4 p.m. Wednesday for Huron, Sanilac and St. Clair counties and until 8 a.m. for Wayne County.

Easterly winds of 20-30 mph will bring high waves and raise water levels, according to the weather service.

Water levels in Lake St. Clair have risen about 6 inches since last year, largely due to higher precipitation in the last several winters filling the Great Lakes.

In recent days, "we had a northeast wind coming right down the lake, and that kind of sloshed all this water over the coastline areas," meteorologist Steve Considine said. "Any time we have east or northeast winds with the lake levels this high, we’re going to be looking at some potential for flooding in those flood-prone areas."

The statewide Emergency Alert System also warned of potential flooding late Tuesday.

Meanwhile, moderate to heavy rainfall is slated to continue overnight, with some spots seeing totals topping half an inch or more.

More showers are expected Wednesday, when thunderstorms are possible as highs climb into the low 70s. The forecast calls for new rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch. 

Rain will linger into Thursday, when temperatures could reach the upper 60s, slightly above average for this time of year, weather service records show.

The rain is expected to clear out on Friday, when highs in the mid-60s and mostly cloudy skies are forecast.

Twitter: @SarahRahal_

Staff Writer Mark Hicks contributed to this report.