Current Watershed Conditions
 Flood Outlook Statement
Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority (SSMRCA)
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Flood Outlook – Lake Superior Shoreline
Posted: Mar 18, 2020

Watershed Conditions: Flood Outlook Statement – Lake Superior Shoreline


Issued March 18, 2020@ 12:30 pm


The Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority (SSMRCA) is advising that Lake Superior water levels remain well above normal. There are observations, reports, or expectations of shoreline erosion or flooding currently.

Conditions across the Great Lakes were drier in last month and the water levels of Lake Superior declined more than they typically do in February. Nonetheless, an exceptional volume of water remains in the system and all of the Great Lakes remain near or above record-high water levels for this time of year. Water levels are expected to remain high over at least the next several months and further record-highs are possible if wet conditions continue in 2020. As a result, there will continue to be a significantly increased risk of shoreline erosion, lakeshore flooding and coastal damages over the next several weeks and into the spring.

Currently, Lake Superior water levels are approximately 183.58 m IGLD85. Lake Superior declined 10 cm over the course of the month, while on average the water level declines 5 cm in February. At the beginning of March, Lake Superior is just 4 cm below the record-high beginning-of-month level set in 1986. The level is currently 33 cm above average (1918 – 2019) and at the same level recorded at this time a year ago. For additional reference, the SSMRCA shoreline flooding hazard level used for planning and development review is 184.2 m

SSMRCA advises all shoreline property owners to prepare for potentially severe coastal impacts such as significant erosion, flooding and other public safety hazards, especially during periods of strong winds and high waves.

SSMRCA staff continue to monitor Lake Superior wind conditions and lake levels closely.

This statement is in effect until (or updated before) April 20, 2020.


For further information contact:

Anjum Amin, P.Eng.
705-946-8530 ext.# 1003