Sewage floods Essex basements, residents fed up, demand answers

Hundreds of Essex residents are expected to pack a council chambers Tuesday night, demanding to know why flooding has become a major issue in Essex.

Hundreds of Essex residents are expected to pack council chambers Tuesday night and demand to know why flooding has become a major issue in Essex.

The community action comes a week after major downpour and on a day when hot, humid weather brings the risk of yet another thunderstorm Tuesday.

On mobile? Tap here to view a toilet overflowing in Essex.

Essex Mayor Ron McDermott wants a flooding fix to be top priority.

"We have to get our problem resolved. Never mind the sexy things, like splash pads, people want those, but we need to be able to give the people something to build their house on here, and it sure isn't drainage problems," he said. "How's Essex going to go forward if we don't fix this problem? I don't care what it's going to cost us, we have to get to the bottom of the problem."

Some applaud the mayor for what they call a change of heart.

"Happy the mayor is off the splash pad idea he was campaigning at our flooded house with last fall. That's a step in the right direction," Ashley Allen posted on Facebook after seeing McDermott on CBC Windsor.

Answers sought

A year ago, the town formed a committee to look into the chronic flooding.

While it has implemented preventative measures, committee members like Dave Cassidy say the root cause of the flooding remains unknown.

"We don't think it's going to stop happening, but it has to stop happening. People are not fixing their basements anymore," he said.

The engineer the town hired to find the problem hasn't met with the committee yet.

The flooding isn't confined to a specific area of town. CBC's Amy Dodge talked to residents on Centre Street, one of the town's older streets, and on Townsview Court, a new subdivision still under development.

'It's still annoying'

People are fed up.

Laura Mills says her basement has flooded three times.

"Was the effect this bad this time? No, because we got smarter. We've left things in plastic bins, but it's still annoying," she said.

Elisha Peralta used her cellphone to record sewer water overflowing from her toilet.

Water rose across her basement floor last week. She had to rip out carpet and throw away furniture. She's filled a dumpster with household items and waterlogged material. She said insurance will pay her $10,000, not enough to cover the full cost, she said.

A Flooding in Essex Facebook Page now has more than 400 likes and has photos and video of flooding, including a toilet spewing sewer water.

Some posters claim water rising as high as 80 cm during storms.

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