Kingsville mayor calls for funding as shoreline homes bashed by storms

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Kingsville mayor calls for funding as shoreline homes bashed by storms

Between 200 and 500 homes along the shoreline in Kingsville were affected by the heavy rain and flooding over the weekend, and the town's mayor is calling the event "surprising."

Gerry Merritt has lived on Heritage Road for the last 18 years and said he's never seen the situation so bad along the shoreline.

"This whole yard was a big lake, water all over the place but it's drained away now. It was quite something to see." said Merritt.

Waves off of the lake were so strong they were whipping water against Merritt's home and rocks on the ground were thrown up onto his property.

"We put out more rocks a few years ago for more protection but other than putting out more rocks I'm not sure what we could do," he said. 

The wild weather has prompted Kingsville Mayor Nelson Santos to call on the province to bring back some of the help it once offered to those living on the shoreline. 

Dried up funding

Santos said a shoreline protection initiative was once offered by the province to help those living along the lake, that matched local funding to help protect the shoreline.

But he said the funding for that program dried up about 15 to 20 years ago.

"We'd like to see a shared program restored," said Santos. "Especially on properties where we're losing land, so for example the cliffs out toward Wheatley — year after year, the beating of the waves hitting the shore basically undermining the land and you start ... seeing land disappear."

The funding would help municipalities and conservation authorities protect infrastructure long term, said Santos, like the section of Highway 3 that runs close to the shore. 

For Merritt, the weekend storms are just part of life where he's chosen to live. 

"There's a lot of pluses of living on the water, and seeing Mother Nature at it's finest is part of living out on the lake."