ERCA Wants Improved Response to Flooding


Windsor and Essex County are in dire straits when it comes to the threat of flooding.

Speaking at the Essex Region Conservation Authority board of directors meeting on Thursday,  Director of Watershed Management Tim Byrne says every municipality in the region is reviewing its flood response plan.

He says, the region is "woefully" unprepared for emergency flooding and needs to better plan.

He says they need to look at what equipment is available if there is massive flooding, the historic plan and what areas may be affected.

ERCA has had 189 days of flood watch this year -- most ever.

High lake levels and winds are causing erosion issues along the shoreline, but if there is a massive storm, flooding will get a lot worse.

He points out depending on the flooding levels on the roads, some fire eqiupment won't even be able to get through.

Byrne tells AM800 News people should not be minimizing the threat.

"We are in dire straits right now with respect to the threat of flooding," says Byrne. "The extent of that flooding though will then dictate the type of response required to be provided by whatever affected municipality that is."

Byrne adds certain issues need to be reviewed because if passenger vehicles can't get through flooded roads, there's a problem. 

"An assessment of material, material being the equipment, the historic plan, the understanding of the areas that might be affected, the understanding of the extent and the threat as it relates to the depth of flooding," says Byrne.  "Urban response would be large equipment and large gear that can't go through more than a foot of water, 0.3 metres of water, after that some of the large fire equipment that we have available throughout the region and the city right now can't get into some of those area."

A regional response planning meeting is taking place Friday.

Byrne says the winter season won't reduce the threat either because then they have to keep an eye on the ice flows.


-- with files from AM800's Ricardo Veneza