Storm cleanup continues after flooding, strong winds sweep through region

Forestry crews in Hamilton responded to roughly 50 reports of storm damage and Port Colborne warned residents not to leave home Sunday night.

Videos and photos shared on social media showed flooding along Lake Erie

A picture tweeted by the City of Port Colborne showed flood waters covering driveways and creeping up toward homes. (City of Port Colborne/Twitter)

The cleanup continues after strong winds swept through the region, and towns along Lake Erie's shoreline saw flooding during Sunday's storm.

Forestry crews in Hamilton responded to roughly 50 reports of storm damage, and the city said Sunday that they were continuing to prioritize their response based on concerns for public safety.

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board tweeted Monday morning that Mount Hope Elementary School will remain closed for the day because of a power outage.

Port Colborne, meanwhile, saw "significant flooding" Sunday night.

A photo shared by the city on social media showed water covering a resident's driveway and creeping up toward the garage.

It called for people to use "extreme caution" and not to leave home unless they absolutely had to.

"Lake Erie's water levels are approximately nine feet above normal, which is causing the wind to push the water inland," read a tweet just after 8 p.m. "Because of this, the storm sewer systems are overwhelmed causing flooding throughout the city."

Mark Robinson, a storm hunter with the Weather Network, shared a video from Fort Erie of waves crashing through trees in a park.

Niagara Parks said the breakwall in Fort Erie was damaged, causing flooding.

It also reported "substantial damage" to its property including several Winter Festival of Lights displays in Queen Victoria Park and along the south Niagara Parkway.

Norfolk County officials said the storm caused flooding in several areas. Roads across the county were closed Monday because of downed trees, hydro wires and debris, the county said.

"These include part of Main Street, Walker Street and Harbour Street in Port Dover and Hastings Drive on Long Point, among others," read a media release.

The county said the fire department had responded to 40 storm-related calls for service, the majority of which involved trees falling on hydro wires.

Residents were reminded to have their drinking water tested if their wells or cisterns were affected by flooding.

Tips for cleanup

Hamiltonians who are cleaning up their own properties after the storm are advised to abide by the following tips for recycling yard waste:

  • Use paper bags, not plastic.
  • Use open top, reusable containers such as a garbage can, bin or basket.
  • Do not use cardboard boxes or blue bins for yard waste.
  • Make sure bags and containers weigh less than 50 pounds.
  • Tie branches and twigs together in bundles that aren't longer than 1.2 metres and wider than 0.75 metres. Branches that are more than seven centimetres in diameter should be dropped off at a community recycling centre.
  • Don't let branches stick out of a yard waste bag.

Monday's forecast from Environment Canada called for a 30 per cent chance of showers or flurries in the afternoon, with the wind blowing from the southwest at 40 km/h and gusting to 70.

The city is reminding residents to keep their catch basins free, check their sump pumps to make sure they're working and lift valuables off the basement floor if they live in an area that's prone to flooding.

Anyone who spots a sewer back-up, flooding over a roadway or fallen tree is asked to call 905-546-2489.