VIDEO: Fear of Flooding Has City Making Preparations

The City of Windsor is alerting residents in the east end to be ready in the event of flooding this weekend.

Extreme high levels on Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River along with a forecast of strong north winds could push water over the shore into low areas.

Emergency officials are preparing in the event there needs to be sandbagging done in areas where there are breaches of the dykes.

The area most affected is from Goose Bay Park to the boundary with Tecumseh.

Lower lying properties on the north side of Riverside Drive are at the most risk from rising river and lake flooding.

The city is buying a sandbag making machine and already has 5000 sandbags ready to deploy.

Fire Chief Steve Laforet is the city's Emergency co-ordinator, he says they've put measures in place.

"We have to look at our situation here locally and try and be prepared and do everything that we can do.  We've had meetings with our community control group, certainly dealing with the engineering division as the lead to determine what the most appropriate plans are.  We've had discussion with social services and we have a plan in place for what we would have to do if we need to evacuate."

City Engineer Mark Winterton says they've watching the conditions closely.

"We're on a constant monitoring situation so so if we know we have sustained winds we're going to be on call and we can activate very quickly.  We can move probably within a half an hour, I could probably take steps as necessary."

Winterton says they would rather be prepared than sorry.

"We are unfortunately experienced at responding to these type of emergencies.  The hope is we don't have to, the hope that all of this is preparation and in six months we look back and we say we're glad we didn't need it."

 

 

Fire Chief Laforet has been in constant contact with the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre and says even with the flooding in eastern Ontario there would be help available if necessary.

A berm system along the Ganatchio Trail and Riverside Drive was developed from the Town of Tecumseh to Lauzon Road in the 1980s and 1990's.  As well there are berms on the sides of the Little River where gaps have recently been filled in. 

"We have strong berm systems in place that will keep the majority of any rising Detroit River water at bay," said City Engineer Mark Winterton. "But, where gaps still exist, we're ready to quickly fill them with sandbags if needed."

The City is currently putting plans in place that if required, would offer sand and sandbags to residents living along the north side of Riverside Drive who may fear their properties being flooded.