Some waterways in Lambton County are capable of “nuisance” flooding caused by heavy rainfall, melting snow or ice dams. Such flooding commonly results in local road closures during the spring, but rarely does it cause home or property damage. Even so, there are some residents who live in areas that are susceptible to serious flooding such as the Port Franks area in Lambton Shores. Port Franks has experienced significant flooding caused by ice jams in the Ausable River, which flows into Lake Huron. Any waterway can become dangerous after a heavy rainfall or spring-melt, so keep watch over young children and be cautious around deep or fast flowing water.
Fortunately, the threat of widespread catastrophic flooding in Lambton County is low. This is due in part, because of province-wide restrictions adopted after Hurricane Hazel in 1954, which prohibit or restrict construction in flood prone areas. Intense rains that accompanied the hurricane caused extensive flood damage and loss of life in Ontario (81 people were killed in the Toronto area). Restrictions on construction within waterways are now enforced through municipal Zoning By-laws and Conservation Authority Regulations, and have reduced the risks to property and human life associated with flooding.
You can obtain more information about your watershed from the Ausable-Bayfield Conversation Authority (which covers portions of Lambton Shores and Warwick) or the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority (which covers the remainder of the County).
You can also visit the Ministry of Natural Resources website to read current flood messages for the Province.