More flooding possible Thursday as winds push water over shorelines
As showers and thunderstorms approach the region Thursday, residents in some parts of southeast Michigan are bracing for more flooding as lake levels remain high and water rushes over shorelines.
The National Weather Service has issued a lake shore flood warning for Wayne and Monroe counties until Thursday morning.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Lake Erie water level at Toledo was more than 81 inches above its lowest level and rising, the weather service reported. Easterly winds of 20-30 mph were expected to last through the night, and "the prolonged period of onshore flow lasting into Thursday morning will likely produce flooding along the immediate shoreline," the warning read.
A lake shore flood warning also covers Macomb County through 2 p.m. Thursday.
A lake shore flood advisory, which warns that onshore winds could spark flooding of low-lying areas near the lake, also covers Huron, Sanilac and St. Clair counties through 2 p.m. Thursday.
In Gibraltar, police activated an emergency siren for hours Wednesday when the Lake Erie water level had climbed over 72 inches.
"Please limit your driving in areas where flooding is occurring," officials wrote on the city's Facebook page.
At Monroe County's Estral Beach, water covered roads and surrounded homes, the Monroe News said in a tweet.
In Harrison Township, hundreds of residents have been loading up with sandbags since last week's heavy rains, said Rod Unalivia, a sergeant with the Fire Department. Some bags had been stocked for years; others were part of a new supply that township officials ordered.
"We have supplied a lot of people," he said.
The winds driving the water along the shorelines are expected to diminish Thursday as gusts arriving with a system bringing a chance of showers and thunderstorms and temperatures in the 70s, shift to the west, said Dave Gurney, a meteorologist with the weather service station in White Lake Township.
"That will take the flow off shore, keep the water levels back to a level (residents will) be able to deal with," he said.
Westerly winds are expected Friday and Saturday, as highs hover in the 50s.
Rain returns on Sunday, when the mercury could reach the low 60s.