Posted on Jun 10, 2019
Vince Lynch introduced Christine Phillibert P.Engineering . Vince mentioned he was the former water management engineer and quoted from the Gordon Lightfoot song "The Fate of the Edmund Fitzgerald ." Lynch mentioned he and Christine were both graduates of Queen's University .
Christine Philliibert works for Quinte Conservation as a Water Resources Manager and did a slide presentation that explained Quinte Conservation's role . She eloquently explained what influences Lake Ontario/Bay of Quinte water levels and the causes of the 2017 and the 2019 floods . She also explained current and forecast conditions and protection of property.
Quinte Conservation's role is to provide flood warning and warning-(reducing risk of life and property ) for its watersheds; the Moira, Salmon, Napanee and all of Prince Edward County.  The regulation prevention program around hazards prevent people and property from being within the flood and erosion hazard.  Christine's job is to monitor how high  the water will get, when that will happen and inform the municipalities by mail list and social media. Also to operate and maintain flood management structures . Christine explained the Lake Ontario Watershed.  There is a  dam at the outlet of Lake Superior but water is uncontrolled from  Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and Lake Erie.  All flow to Lake Ontario Plan 2014 balances upstream and downstream impacts (flood,shipping, ecology).  The Ottawa River flows into and influences the lower St . Lawrence River.  The Ottawa watershed has the Moses-Saunders Dam. Causes of the 2017 flood -- January, February, and March there was unstable ice cover in the late winter, five (5) freeze thaw cycles that necessitated reducing outflow to reduce risk of ice jamming.  In addition there were record setting rainfall totals for the first 5 months of the year. The Moses-Saunders Dam couldn't allow too much water to flow or there would have been ice jams. The 2019 flood was from above average rainfall in the late winter, record Ottawa River flooding , flooding on the St. Lawrence River and record Lake Erie uncontrolled outflows.  What flows over Niagara Falls is completely uncontrolled.  Christine explained the water level will stabilize and slowly decline . A reduction of 1 cm of water level in Lake Ontario in one week will cause a rise of 12 cm on the St Lawrence River .
The impact of the flooding is on parklands, trails, roads, residential and commercial lots, basements, boat launches, storm sewers and wastewater effluent pipes.  Flooding causes erosion to private property,  escarpments, road damage, shorelines and breakwater damage.  Quinte Conservation regulation staff provide on site advice on how you can protect your property from flooding and erosion . There is more information on the" Resources" page at Quinte for those who are interested .
Ken Wheeler thanked Christine for her presentation which he  described as extremely interesting and extremely relevant since it affects the daily lives of everyone in the room  .