Sandbags available in Tecumseh for at-risk properties
A full report will come to council May 28
The Town of Tecumseh is moving forward with a free sandbag program to help residents fight rising water and the potential for flooding.
Tecumseh joins Windsor, Lakeshore, Amhertsburg, Essex and Leamington in offering sandbags to its residents.
Tim Byrne, manager of watershed services for the Essex Region Conservation Authority, said the potential for flooding is "imminent" during a presentation to the council in Tecumseh this week.
"We've been managing six flood events," throughout Essex County municipalities, said Byrne. "The threat is there and it is looming."
Byrne said sandbagging should be done structurally, but that when you start to construct a sandbag wall without support it is an inappropriate use of the tool — meaning barriers should be constructed around buildings, but not along the shoreline.
According to Byrne, "a breath of wind" could push water up over breakwalls and cause flooding.
Public Works staff in Tecumseh will begin installing protective measures around pump stations to ensure they remain operational if threatened by flood waters.
Tecumseh town council approved a resolution to offer sandbags to people living along Lake St. Clair and Pike Creek until the middle of June.
Byrne said most shoreline protection measures, such as breakwalls, are actually for erosion protection, not for flood protection.
"We keep our fingers crossed for calm winds and calm weather," said Byrne. "But we need to prepare strategically and we need to review our flood response plans."
Mayor Gary Mcnamara said ERCA's presentation laid out exactly what to expect this summer.
"We want to be responsive and proactive," said McNamara. "The motion we put forward today is giving administration the ability to order more sandbags."
According to McNamara, there are already 20,000 sandbags "in-house," and he expects the town to order another 20-to-30,000 bags at about $1 each.
A full report will come to council May 28, but equipment to fill bags has been ordered in the meantime.
Sandbags are available in Tecumseh for property owners living adjacent to Lake St. Clair and Pike Creek. Owners on the north side of Riverside Drive from the City of Windsor limit to Pike Creek, and along Pike Creek from Lake St. Clair to the VIA Rail line. They can pick up 100 sandbags at no cost.
Bags can be picked up at the Tecumseh Arena on McNorton Street.
- Thursday, May 16 — 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Friday, May 17 — 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Saturday, May 18 — 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Sunday, May 19 — 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Monday, May 20 — 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Sand will be available in the Lakewood Park south parking lot. Shovels are not provided. Owners have to fill sandbags themselves.