Lake Ontario, Bay of Quinte upgraded to flood warning by Quinte Conservation

Soggy conditions persist at the Smoke's Point Road access to Weller's Bay. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette Staff)


Flood conditions in Prince Edward County aren’t as bad as 2017.

At least not yet.

But rising water levels in Lake Ontario have prompted Quinte Conservation to upgrade its flood watch to a flood warning for the lake’s shoreline as well as the Bay of Quinte.

A flood warning statement indicates flooding is imminent or already occurring in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities and individuals should take action to deal with flood conditions and may include road closures and evacuations.

According to Quinte Conservation, Lake Ontario water levels have been quickly rising over the past week and will continue to do so as high inflows and reduced outflows continue.

As of Wed. May 15 2019,  Lake Ontario was recorded at 68 cm above average for this time of year which is 14 cm below the recorded level for May 15, 2017. 

This amount is 17 cm below the peak recorded on May 25, 2017.

Lake Ontario water levels are influenced by uncontrolled and above average outflows from Lake Erie as well as local rainfall and runoff throughout the Lake Ontario Watershed. 

Outflows on Lake Ontario are being reduced in order to balance flooding impacts on the St. Lawrence River where flood conditions continue on the river’s lower portion.

Record breaking water levels for this time of year have been recorded for Lake Erie and above average precipitation has been received across the Great Lakes over the past three months

Flooding and other high water impacts have been reported from areas of Lake Ontario and the upper St. Lawrence River during periods of strong winds.

Shoreline residents are advised to either secure or remove loose items from their properties where there is a risk of encroaching flood water. Sandbags can be effective in protecting residences but are not intended to protect shorelines and accessory buildings. For more information on shoreline protection, contact the Quinte Conservation office at (613) 968-3434 or visit and speak with expert staff in the planning and regulations department.

Sandbags are available at several stations throughout Prince Edward County.

For sandbagging stations and locations of prepared sandbags for those shoreline owners that are unable to bag their own, please visit–notices/flood-watch-update–new-sandbag-locations-boat-launches-closed.php 

Boaters are asked to be cautious of floating debris and should take proper safety precautions when out on the water. 

Boaters should also reduce speeds and wakes when boating along shorelines to reduce the localized flooding and erosion.

Quinte Conservation is also asking the public never wade through or play in flood water as it is extremely unsafe. 

Flood water can be contaminated with septic and hazardous debris.

Residents concerned that their shoreline well or septic has been compromised should contact their local health unit. 

Do not drink the water and find an alternative water source to use. This message does not apply to municipal drinking water systems.

Residents are advised to obey any posted road closure signs and to check with their municipality for updates on road closures and boat launch closures.

Staff will continue to monitor conditions and will provide an update if forecasts and conditions change. For current water levels or to report any observations of flooding, residents are encouraged to visit