Heavy rainfall floods homes, roads and trails in Windsor-Essex

Heavy rains have flooded streets and properties in LaSalle after the region was issued rainfall and flood warnings early Friday morning. 

Saturday will mark the 3rd anniversary of the region's devastating 2017 floods

Ilean Willis has lived in her Roseland neighbourhood home since 1993. She says she went through the flooding of 2017, but Friday's rainfall seems to be worse. (Sanjay Maru/CBC)

Windsor resident Ilean Willis headed down to her basement Friday morning to find water "coming in like a river." 

Parts of Windsor-Essex, Chatham-Kent and Sarnia-Lambton received more than 100 millimetres of rain that flooded streets and properties Friday. Saturday will mark the third anniversary of the region's devastating 2017 floods, which damaged nearly 6,000 basements in Windsor. 

Willis' basement was also a victim then, but she said this time it seems worse. 

"The water did not come in as much [then] as it did now," she told CBC News Friday. She added that her pumps stopped working so the water hasn't been able to escape. 

"We probably will not move because I love this area, but I don't want to go through this again," said Willis, who has lived in Windsor's Roseland neighbourhood since 1993. 

And she isn't the only one whose belongings are now steeped in water — many of her neighbours CBC News spoke with are experiencing the same thing. 

Storms to continue into the evening

After several rounds of rainfall and thunderstorms Friday morning, Environment Canada warns of heavy showers continuing into the afternoon or evening.

"[There will be a] conveyor belt of moisture and storms all day long," the Weather Network's storm hunter Mark Robinson told Windsor Morning Friday. 

As of 8 a.m. Friday, Environment Canada says close to 100 millimetres of rain has already fallen in some parts of Windsor-Essex. (Michael Evans/CBC)

Robinson said he was out and about at 3 a.m. in Windsor-Essex observing the storm and the street flooding that's already taking place in LaSalle, Amherstburg and Windsor. 

He said the storm could get more severe later in the evening.

As of early morning Friday, Windsor airport had already reported 47 millimetres of rainfall, according to Environment Canada. 

By 8 a.m. Environment Canada reported that some regions had received nearly 100 millimetres, and higher amounts may be possible as thunderstorms continue. 

The weather authority warns that "heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads," and localized flooding is possible in low-lying areas. It continued to say that people should not approach washouts near rivers and creeks. 

Roads and trails in LaSalle have closed, according to a press release from the town, due to flooding. 

Front Road between Laurier Drive and International Avenue is closed along with all trails located near Turkey Creek and the bridge over Turkey Creek in Vince Marcotte Park. 

Water levels in Turkey Creek are expected to rise during the day. The creek is "very fast moving and dangerous," warns the town, adding that locals shouldn't approach standing water on any portion of the trail. 

The town said officials will continue to monitor conditions. 

Flood warning issued 

The Essex Region Conservation Area (ERCA) has updated its flood watch to a flood warning Friday as it said parts of the region's northwest area have received large amounts of rain. 

The Turkey Creek watershed, which includes the Grand Marais Drain through the City of Windsor, has received more than 100 millimetres (4 inches) of rainfall as of the afternoon. 

According to a press release from ERCA, the Turkey Creek has "swelled and is bank-full in some locations." 

LaSalle has also closed County Rd. 20 through the urban section as water has come up through the lower catch-basins. 

The forecast suggests that heavy rainfall could continue for the rest of Friday and overnight. 

Heavy rains Friday have flooded a local cemetery. (Michael Evans/CBC)

"Areas with poor drainage or that are being impacted by the high lake levels may be impacted by this rainfall event," the statement reads. 

The ERCA also warns of strong winds Friday night into early Saturday morning that can cause waves that lead to erosion along the Lake Erie shoreline and Pelee Island. 

This watch is in addition to the long term flood watch for the Essex Region, which remains in effect until Sept. 1. 


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