Lake shore flood alert issued for SE Michigan through Thursday

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News
Detroit city employees Myron Quarles, left, and Lorenzo Colbert place sandbags around a residence on Klenk St. to stop canal flooding on Klenk Island in Detroit.

Detroit — The National Weather Service on Tuesday issued lake shore flood warnings for a large part of southeast Michigan through Thursday.

A lake shore flood warning means flooding along a lake is either occurring or imminent and residents who live on or near a shore should be alert for rising water. They also should take measures to ensure their safety and protect their property.

St. Clair County Emergency Management reported numerous buildings and roads flooded in Algonac and Harsens Island along the St. Clair River. The river levels are expected to remain high enough to cause significant flooding into Friday, the weather service reported. A flood warning for southeastern St. Clair County is in effect until Friday afternoon.

Kevin Kacan, a meteorologists at the National Weather Service office in White Lake Township, said a couple of things are combining to cause the potential for lake shore flooding.

"First, there's the wind direction," he said. "You've got winds heading on to shore from over the lakes. On top of that, you've got very high lake levels. So the wind is basically pushing all of that water up on to the shore."

The weather service has issued a lake shore flood warning for Huron, Sanilac and St. Clair counties on the shores of Lake Huron. The warning will be in effect from 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. 

Meteorologists with the agency said a prolonged period of east to northeast winds across southern Lake Huron will lead to higher water levels along the shoreline from the northern Thumb to Port Huron. In addition, the winds are predicted to create waves taller than five feet.

A little further south, a lake shore flood warning in Macomb County will go into effect at 2 p.m. Wednesday and end at 2 p.m. Thursday. 

A Hanover Street resident surveys the damage along Currier Street in Dearborn Height.

Meteorologists said strengthening easterly winds Wednesday will cause water levels along Lake St. Clair's shore to rise and bring the potential for large waves and flooding through Thursday in communities like St. Clair Shores.

Meanwhile, a flood warning issued for Monroe and Wayne Counties will be in effect from 8 a.m. Wednesday through 8 a.m. Thursday.

The weather service said strengthening northeasterly winds on Tuesday will lead to rising water levels and high wave action across the western Lake Erie basin, especially in the area between Luna Pier and the Michigan-Ohio border. The lake's water levels could exceed 72 inches through Thursday, the weather service predicts.

More rain is possible in the region Wednesday, according the agency's forecast.

In Detroit, there's a chance of rain after 9 a.m. and a chance of rain before 9 p.m. The temperature is expected to reach a high near 51 degrees and a low of about 49 degrees.

Kacan said showers and thunderstorms are possible Thursday for most of the day and across the entire region.

Extended forecast

Wednesday: Cloudy with a chance of rain; high 51; low 49.

Thursday: Rain; high 70; low 50.

Friday: Mostly cloudy; high 60; low 40.

Saturday: Mostly sunny; high 59; low 44.

Sunday: Mostly cloudy; high 61; low 45.

Monday: Mostly sunny; high 61.

Source: National Weather Service
Twitter: @CharlesERamirez