Lake Erie roaring with strong winds and high waves
PORT BRUCE, ONT. -- It's a wild Wednesday on the Lake Erie shoreline with high winds and waves slamming into beaches and at-risk property high above the sandy bluffs.
The situation severe enough that the Government of Canada issued a gale warning and waterspout watch for both the eastern and western basins of the lake.
In Port Bruce, waves were up to a metre in height at 9 a.m.
They had doubled by noon, with peak waves reaching as high as three metres (or nearly nine feet).
A number of people watched the power of Mother Nature from a distance.
Melanie Greenwood, of Oakville, Ont. was taken aback by the sight.
“Oh, it is crazy out there. It’s wild. We saw the birds being taken by the wind earlier - they were unable to fly.”
Another woman CTV News spoke to on the beach had a hard time keeping her mask on, as she commented on the crashing waves. She’s lived seasonally in the area for several years.
“I’ve never seen the waves smash against the pier like that.”
But Nick Johnson, who’s lived in Port Bruce for most of his life, says the sight, though impressive, is not extreme.
“The waves can be higher. When they are at their most powerful the water can reach the road. The water will go right over that crest of the beach."
But beach properties are relatively safe. It’s homes and property along the bluffs that face further erosion from the weather event.
Dave Barrie, who recently retired to Port Bruce, Ont. from the Kitchener area, was overwhelmed by the high winds and waves on Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020. (Sean Irvine / CTV News)
Dave Barrie, who just retired to Port Bruce from the Kitchener-Waterloo area, says erosion fear kept his property choice to beach level.
“We’re not on the shoreline, because the people that are have shoreline disappearing issues. That gets very expensive."
But, like so many here, Barrie sympathizes with property owners who are victims of Lake Erie’s hunger for land.
“My heart goes out to them."
The high winds are expected to continue into Thursday, and the Catfish Creek Conservation Authority has also issued a flood watch, as water levels are currently more than a metre above normal.
- With files from CTV's Justin Zadorsky