It’s going to be a watery wake-up for residents in Windsor-Essex as they wade through the floodwaters left behind by yesterday’s heavy rain.
Environment Canada says 200 millimetres of rain fell in the region in a 24-hour span Thursday, more than double the 94 mm of rain Windsor-Essex usually receives in all of September.
The mayors of the City of Windsor and the Town of Tecumseh declared states of emergency as the heavy rain flooded homes, roads and parking lots.
Environment Canada said Thursday afternoon unofficial estimates indicated up to 150 mm of rain fell in the Tecumseh area and as much as 115 mm in the Belle River area by noon alone.
Forecasters say several rounds of showers and thunderstorms will continue to affect Essex County into Friday, with additional rainfall amounts expected to be in the 40 to 70 mm range.
One Tecumseh resident, Tony Fischer, tells AM980 the skies opened up Thursday morning. “It was just about 9 o’clock that we got the call from the town not to go on the roads because flooding had started. So it started about 8:30-9:30 a.m. when the heavy rains came down and things started to flood and back up.”
— Tom Fraser (@thomfraser) September 29, 2016
Fischer said he was at work in the United States when he decided to drive home to help pump out his basement, despite his home being at the highest point on the street.
“The thing was I couldn’t get home. I actually had to park a ways away and pull my pants up and take my work shoes off and my socks and walk up my road in nearly knee high water to get (home),” he said. “In my basement, there’s at least a foot-and-a-half of water, for sure.”
Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens urged provincial and federal governments to come through with assistance during a news conference on Thursday.
He also asked residents to limit their water use.
Provincial police say many roads in the Tecumseh area have been flooded. Tecumseh Transit also suspended bus service Thursday until further notice.
Area police are urging drivers to avoid flooded areas and for parents to keep children and pets away from water runoff areas, rivers, creeks and streams.
The Chatham-Kent area is also receiving significant rainfall with Environment Canada forecasting rainfall amounts of 30 to 60 mm by Friday evening for much of the region.
With files from Tom Fraser