Holy Water Levels, Again. - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 39 Old 4 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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Holy Water Levels, Again.

Water levels on the lower great lakes, Trent Severn, Ottawa River and St Lawrence are something else this year. In some areas the 2017 flood levels have already been exceeded.

Newsworthy from a boating and sailing perspective is the Ottawa River has been closed to all non emergency boat traffic for 400 km! All boats, canoes, kayaks, sailboats, tour boats.

There are a bunch of yacht clubs and marinas along this stretch including several big Ottawa yacht and sailing clubs.

My boats on a trailer, soI will be looking for other options this coming long week end (will likely head to some lakes on higher ground).



https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local...protect-whales
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Re: Holy Water Levels, Again.

Iíve read arguments over flood control, but havenít studied the situation. I know a few with places in the thousand island area, who get worked up. Seems like we should be able to move the water out to sea more effectively. I know mankind has screwed with the eco system here (dams, canals, basins, etc), I just donít understand how they impact. Indeed, there has been a lot of rainfall, but still.
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Re: Holy Water Levels, Again.

Agree even WAY over here on the Chesapeake. Here's a pic of my Dufour 31 nearly popping over the pier. I have another pic that was within a few inches.
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Re: Holy Water Levels, Again.

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I know mankind has screwed with the eco system here (dams, canals, basins, etc), I just donít understand how they impact. Indeed, there has been a lot of rainfall, but still.
I have read this is a factor. My understanding is construction on/development of wetlands and flood plains reduce natures ability to absorb flood water, which I guess leaves it with no where to go but the natural choke points like the Lachine Rapids in Montreal and Chaudierre Falls in Ottawa.

It seems to me though, like in 2017, there is a lot of water. I understand the cold winter caused for a greater than normal amount of snow melt (the St Lawrence watershed goes pretty far north). Seems that is a contributing factor.

Here are a couple of clips from the news.

This one is down town Ottawa, so down stream of Lake Deschennes where sailing is popular. Apparently this bridge is going to be closed for quite a while.


Here's a 100 year old dam on a tributary to the Ottawa that was over topped for the first time.

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Re: Holy Water Levels, Again.

And it is only going to go higher...and to think that 6 years or so ago we were really worried about the levels dropping to historic lows..I remember Lake Michigan dropped 8" in one month(August)

Difference from average water level for Apr 10, 2019 (inches*)
Lake Michigan +5
Lake Superior +8
Lake Huron +12
Lake Erie +11
lake Ontario +20

Levels on Lake Superior and Lake Erie are expected to break records set in the 1980's sometime during the next six months, according to the Army Corpsí Detroit district office. Army Corp officials said they forecast expect ďdefiniteĒ record high levels for St. Clair and Erie in May.
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Re: Holy Water Levels, Again.

Itís another bad year indeed. Ottawa area is indeed awash. And most of the Great Lakes are forecast to peak at record, or near-record, levels. It could be worse than 2017.

The whole watershed is saturated, and as Arcb says, one of the main issues seems to be the degradation of natural holding basins like wetlands. The other seems to be the changing moisture patterns due to climate change.

We left Lake Ontario in 2017. Our little marina was awash. Most launches were delayed that year. We sailed out the St. Lawrence in July of that year. We encounter high water and much higher river currents all the way past Montreal. Kinda nice for our speeds/distances, but made anchoring in some areas rather tricky.

You folks have my sympathy.
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Re: Holy Water Levels, Again.

I can confirm the Chesapeake levels are way higher than normal. My boat is on the hard, but my friend's boat was so high on the pilings that you had to step *over* the ladder to get on the platform on the back of his boat. Usually it's 2-3 steps down the ladder. The water was close to even to the pier. No wonder they put in the first floating dock this year!
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Re: Holy Water Levels, Again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV Siren View Post

Difference from average water level for Apr 10, 2019 (inches*)
Lake Michigan +5
Lake Superior +8
Lake Huron +12
Lake Erie +11
lake Ontario +20

.
Nice, what site do the numbers come off?
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Re: Holy Water Levels, Again.

Lose the dams?


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Re: Holy Water Levels, Again.

Hmm. The dams are old, the flooding seems to be fairly new, at least on its current scale. Canada is the second largest producer of hydro electric power in the world (after China). There are a lot of dams. Over 160 in Quebec alone. Plus there is the St Lawrence Seaway; grain from the midwest, steel to motor city, cement, road salt...

I have read some interesting stuff about spillways being built around dams for extreme events. The stuff I read seemed to suggest it might not work out in the St Lawrence and Ottawa Valleys though, due to them being very deep and old valleys through old mountain ranges. I am always curious to read more ideas though. I find water works to be a fascinating topic (my Dad was a dam builder).
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