Windsor-Essex, Chatham-Kent brace for potential flooding while rainfall warning is in effect

·2 min read
Waves crash onto the shore at Lighthouse Cove on Lake St. Clair on Sept. 22, 2021. (Chris Ensing/CBC - image credit)
Waves crash onto the shore at Lighthouse Cove on Lake St. Clair on Sept. 22, 2021. (Chris Ensing/CBC - image credit)

There's a risk of flooding and shoreline erosion as a blast of rain hits Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent.

A rainfall warning remains in effect for both areas, with 75 to 100 millimetres expected by Thursday morning, though Environment Canada says some areas could see as much as 125 millimetres of rain.

Winds are expected to be strong as well. Environment Canada says gusts of 70 km/h are in the forecast for Wednesday and Thursday.

The Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA) and Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority (LTVCA) have both issued flood watches.

"There is a concern for the accumulation of standing water in low lying areas throughout the Essex Region, especially adjacent to and within floodplain areas of all major waterways and shoreline areas," the Essex Region Conservation Authority said in a media release.

Both conservation groups said there is a risk of flooding and shoreline erosion along Lake Erie. Erie Shore Drive in Chatham Kent is at risk, as well as Lighthouse Cove on Lake St. Clair.

On Wednesday afternoon, lake levels at Lighthouse Cove were high and waves could be seen crashing over the break wall.

Flood prevention

Windsor-Essex is no stranger to flooding, with several major incidents this year.

Joel Simpkins in Belle River has been flooded four times since moving to his home, including two major floods.

He spoke with CBC News as he was finishing up re-doing his basement, which flooded in July causing more than $30,000 worth of damage. He's taken steps to help prevent any further incidents including adding a backup to his sump pump so it can be used while the power goes out.

"I put vinyl flooring down because then, before I had carpet and laminate and then that got destroyed ... now if I have a flood you can tear it out, wipe it off and put it back down. So, I'm trying to do as many precautions as I can but it's up to the township to do more," he said.

In anticipation of the rain, municipal officials are telling residents what steps they can take to help prevent flooding in their homes.

The City of Windsor says that clearing eaves troughs, grading the land away from your home and ensuring your downspouts aren't connected to the municipal drain system can help.

The Municipality of Lakeshore says that if your basement is flooding, stop using water within the home, including flushing your toilet.

Water should be pumped outside a basement window as opposed to your household drain. If water begins to reach electrical outlets, heaters or furnaces, call your local utility to have the power disconnected.

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