ERCA Reminds Residents to Check Drainage with Thaw on the Way

Residents might have to break out their rubber boots in Windsor-Essex as the climate comes full circle this weekend, according to Essex Region Conservation Authority.

Close to 15cm of snow dropped on the region Monday before the Polar Vortex froze the city solid — Saturday will see temperatures climb above the freezing mark and stay there until at least Tuesday.

Director of Watershed Management Tim Byrne says assessing how much damage the frost inflicted to drainage on private property is the biggest concern.

"You can have separation of pipe, crushing of pipe ... back yards, sub-divisions and those other areas, especially those areas where some weekend warriors tend to do some of their own hobby-work without talking to the municipality or others about what they should be doing," says Byrne, who says the region's infrastructure should be able to handle melting snow if substantial rainfall doesn't hit Sunday and Monday.

Byrne says residents need to be "masters of their property" and inspect drainage areas as soon as the weather breaks.

"Understand where their property is draining to, some with construction activities undertaken on their properties should ask, are they in a finalized state, or are they in the middle of something," says Byrne. "Anything that's been stockpiled in those areas should be set free, especially if it gets mild enough to sweep things away or rake things away."

He reminds parents to keep an eye on kids, and pets.

"Standing water accumulating in an area where you don't normally see it is an inducement to a hazard. How cold is that water? You get a skiff of ice over top of that water and now it's can I slide on it but how deep is that water below the ice," added Byrne.

Temperatures are expected to dip back below zero Tuesday.