Windsor·Updated

Flood warning issued after record rains pound Windsor and Essex County

The bulk of the rain swept through a swath of the county, stretching from McGregor and heading north east toward the area between Tecumseh and Belle River, according to Environment Canada.

Radar estimates suggest Tecumseh may have received 150 mm of rain

Papineau Court in Tecumseh is flooded after heavy rains drenched Windsor and Essex County on August 28, 2017. (Meg Roberts/CBC)

Windsor and Essex County was soaked by record-setting rains Monday night that pounded the Tecumseh area with as much as 140 millimetres in just a few short hours.

The bulk of the rain swept through a swath of the county, stretching from McGregor and heading northeast toward the area between Tecumseh and Belle River, according to Environment Canada. Windsor was hit too and the city's 311 call centre had fielded about a dozen flood-related calls by 9 a.m. Tuesday. 

Windsor airport recorded a rainfall of 57.4 millimetres, shattering the old record of 43.2 mm of rain for Aug. 28 recorded in 1961. Volunteers in the Tecumseh area reported rain totals of 129 mm and a volunteer southwest of Windsor recorded total rainfall of 140.5 mm, said Environment Canada.

A flood warning was issued Tuesday morning by the Essex Region Conservation Authority, which advised that water was flowing over roads across the region. 

"Isolated heavy thunderstorms through the evening hours have caused local drainage infrastructure to be overwhelmed with run-off resulting from those isolated heavy downpours," said the warning. 

"The areas most significantly impacted are roadways within the Town of Lakeshore, west of Belle River, the existing older portions of the Town of Tecumseh, and isolated areas in the City of Windsor."

Windsor police warned the public of "many" flooded streets during the height of the storms and roads were also flooded out in Tecumseh.

"Radar suggests maybe as much as 75 to 150 millimetres may have fallen," said Mark Shuster, meteorologist with Environment Canada. "Basically, it was just repeated thunderstorms just going over the exact same area."

Windsor Airport, which is located west of the worst of the storm, received 57 millimetres of rain, while Harrow had just 14 millimetres. 

The basement of Darren Demers' Papineau Court home flooded last September and it flooded again Monday night. He made the decision last year to keep his basement unfinished for fear flooding might happen again.

"I was upset at first but what are you going to do" he said outside his home late Monday night. "I knew it was going to happen again. It's bound to happen again."

A flooded Little River Boulevard after heavy rains drenched Windsor and Essex County on August 28, 2017. (Meg Roberts/CBC News)
A flooded out parking lot at Vistaprint on Advance Boulevard in Tecumseh on Aug. 28, 2017. (Tricia Selwood/Submitted Photo)

About the Author

Meg Roberts is a video journalist with CBC Newfoundland and Labrador, based in St. John's. Email her at meg.roberts@cbc.ca.