Lake and River Flooding
The City of Windsor remains in an enhanced monitoring position regarding the potential for overland flooding in the east end of the city due to high water levels on Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River.
The potential for flooding is dependant on lake and river levels, the duration of rainfall, and the direction and speed of wind. Residents should be aware that a strong northeast wind has the potential to push water over the shoreline onto land. Residents are encouraged to monitor weather forecasts and take proactive steps to ensure they are prepared should flooding occur.
In an emergency, residents will be updated via electronic channels and are encouraged to monitor news outlets as well as the City of Windsor’s twitter and Facebook page. Emergency services has requested that residents refrain from calling 9-1-1 for basement or property flooding unless there is an emergency occurring. This will allow resources to focus on rescue operations and road closures in response to flooding.
The City is making sandbags available to residents living along the north side of Riverside Drive who want to take precaution against potential overland flooding from Lake St. Clair or the Detroit River.
Sandbags are available to residents living in a specified area along Riverside Drive East, but beginning Thursday, May 23, 2019, those residents wanting sandbags are required to contact 311 (open 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday) and set up a time to meet City staff at the sandbag station located at 9410 Little River Road. Appointments will be made for between 6:30am and 3:30pm Monday to Friday. The initial surge of resident need has been met, so the change to a pre-ordering system is now the most efficient option.
The sandbag station is for residents living between George Avenue and east to the Town of Tecumseh border, living on the north side of Riverside Drive. This area is facing the potential of flooding due to the extremely high water levels along Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River.
The sandbag station will have a City staff member on hand during appointments, but the bags and filling of the bags are the responsibility of residents.
Residents attending the sandbag station will be asked to show proof of address (mail or billing information showing address) and to check in with the attendant each time they attend.
Anyone interested in volunteering to help at the sandbag station is asked to register online with 311 using the “Call for Volunteers” service request.
Residents are responsible for their own properties.
City is not assisting property owners on private property.
However, the City is pro-actively assisting affected property owners to prepare their own properties by making sand and sandbags available to residents in the area of greatest risk of flooding at this time.
Sandbag Fill Station Information:
The sandbag fill station provides a free self-serve option for eligible residents.
Property owners can obtain up to 100 empty bags per visit.
Property owners will be required to fill the provided bags and load them into their own vehicles.
Pre-filled bags are not available at this time.
Sand is for sandbag filling only.
Proof of Eligibility:
Affected property owners or those acting on their behalf must register at the fill station and provide proof of address: Drivers licence or billing information with name and address will be required.
Independent contractors are not permitted at the fill station
Shovels will be provided during operational hours but residents are encouraged to bring their own shovels as well as gloves.
How to Fill a Sandbag:
Be sure to wear gloves plus goggles to protect your eyes from the sand. Sandbags are treated to prevent deterioration when stored. Avoid contact with your eyes and mouth.
Fill sandbags about halfway full. Do not add more sand, as it will not help. Filling the bag halfway with sand allows the bag to be moved more easily. A properly filled sand bag should weigh between 35-40 lbs.
Close the top of the bag. Scrunch the walls of the bag together like a candy bag. Sandbags filled one-half to two-thirds full should generally be left untied.
Use proper lifting techniques to avoid injury and fatigue. Lift with your legs and bend at the knees to save your back.
Lay the sandbag flat and roughly parallel to the expected flow of water and debris. Make sure the closed end of the sandbag is facing in the general direction of the expected flow and fold the open end of the sandbag diagonally away from the expected flow.
Lay down a row of sandbags flat, like bricks. After the first row, lay out a second row of bags on top.
If you are concerned with water pollution, use rubber gloves and appropriate clothing if contact with water is unavoidable.
Wear adequate clothing in layers and watertight boots.
Sources: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sandbagging Techniques