'We have set new records': More waterfront areas closed as Oakville flooding continues

The flooding along Oakville’s waterfront has become worse and the list of sites now off limits to the public has grown.

Two weeks ago (May 16) the Town of Oakville announced that nine areas were closed as a result of flooding.

That list has now grown to 18 parks, piers and trails.

These areas include:

•100 Bronte Road (stairs)

•Bayview Promenade

•Birch Hill Promenade

•Bronte Beach parking lot (includes boat ramps)

•Bronte Heritage Waterfront Park (ponding areas at the bottom of East Street and the west end of the park)

•Bronte east pier

•Bronte west pier

•Busby Park

•Coronation Park (entire park now closed)

•Edgemere Park

•Erchless Estate- (Larry Cain Trail to Oakville Club)

•The Esplanade Promenade

•Gairloch Gardens (from the rose garden south)

•Oakville east pier

•Lakeside Park

•Parkette at the bottom of Third Line

•Shipyard Park (area north of the boat ramp)

•Waterfront Trail (from West Street to Timber Lane)

“We have set new records. We have exceeded the flooding levels we had in 2017,” said Oakville’s Deputy Fire Chief and town emergency management co-ordinator Andy Glynn.

“More significantly when we have an east wind here, we get a surge and the levels really really escalate.”

Glynn said both Oakville and Bronte harbours are experiencing significant flooding.

He said the Town is monitoring the situation and visiting the flooded areas on a daily basis to determine how they can be made safe for the public or if they need to remain closed.

“We have fenced a lot of the areas off,” said Glynn.

“Right now, we are just in a ‘wait and see’ situation. We’ve really done as much as we can do at this point in time.”

In a media release issued on Monday, May 27 the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board said Lake Ontario water levels are expected to crest within the next one to three weeks.

The organization, which is responsible for monitoring water levels in Lake Ontario, said the main drivers for the high water levels continue to be the uncontrolled and record high inflows from Lake Erie and above average precipitation.

Glynn said after the water levels crest they will slowly begin to recede, however, it could take several weeks for local levels to return to normal.

“That could take a considerable period of time depending on how much rain we get,” said he said.

The deputy fire chief said the Town is concerned about erosion and damage to some of its retaining walls but points out the extent of the damage from this flooding will not be known until the waters recede.

Flooding in 2017 resulted in Oakville council having to approve $3.8 million to repair damage to its shoreline and harbours.

Glynn is calling on the public to respect the closures the Town has posted noting flooding and shoreline erosion have created dangerous conditions.

“We have fences across the piers and we really don’t want people to go by those,” he said.

“The weather can change, the wave action can change, and they could get trapped out there.”

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