High winds and heavy rainfall causing sandbag shortage in Lakeshore

Heavy rains and high winds in Lakeshore have put some homeowners on edge. The town is continuing to give out sandbags, but it's having trouble keeping up.

Supplier says there's so much flooding this year 'we couldn't have anticipated this'

Lakeshore was drenched for two hours Thursday, but not before residents had a chance to pick up sandbags — which have been hard to keep in stock at town depots. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

High water and strong winds on Lake St. Clair have residents rushing to scoop up sandbags to protect shoreline homes.

But there's a problem. It's not a lack of sand — but rather, a lack of bags.

"There's just so much flooding this year. We couldn't have anticipated this," said a spokesperson for the Lloyd Bag Company, adding it has never experienced this problem before.

Larry Manteufel arrived early Thursday morning at one of two shipment sites in Lakeshore to help his friend load up 50 bags for their basement.

Fortunately, he picked the correct site. Because at 1089 County Road 25, a notice was posted advising residents that there were no sandbags.

Bob Emery, left, and Larry Manteufel spent their Thursday morning collecting 50 sandbags — something they did before last summer. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

Residents were advised to go to the second shipment site on 2065 County Road 31.

To cover the shortage, Lloyd Bag Company said it's ordered 60,000 bags which are expected to arrive next week. However, 10,000 of those have already been spoken for by the City of Windsor.

What the damage has done

In Lakeshore, high water levels have eaten through break walls, exposing shoreline protections.

Town resident Chris Paterson said the break wall at his home was completely ripped apart due to this week's high, northern winds.

Chris Paterson's Lakeshore home was hit with significant flooding this week. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

On Thursday, the winds shifted — but has fears of significant flooding if they turn back toward the north.

"If the wind lasts and lasts and lasts, you get more water and more water and more water. That's all there is to it."

Flood watches across the region

ERCA has issued a flood watch for the Essex region — specifically, the Lake Erie shoreline between Amherstburg to Point Pelee National Park in Leamington and the west and south shorelines of Pelee Island.

"The long-range forecast is predicting similar wind conditions on Sunday to what occurred on Wednesday May 8th," said ERCA in its statement.

"If this forecast remains accurate, flooding events similar to what was experienced on May 8th should be expected to occur on Sunday."

with files from Chris Ensing