image of sand pile at lakewood park

The Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA) has issued a long term flood watch for Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River and Lake Erie—including the shoreline along Riverside Drive and Pike Creek. Tecumseh is strongly advising everyone within the designated flood prone area to take appropriate action to prepare for potential lake flooding. This preparation includes setting up a location to self-evacuate to, an evacuation kit and plans for potential self-evacuation. Tecumseh is also offering a total of 200 free sandbags to shoreline properties, which would include those provided last year. For those wishing to set up delivery of the sandbags, please call 519-735-2184 Ext. 142. Sand is available, free of charge, in Lakewood Park south. Please bring your own shovels and stay 2m from others.

“We knew last year that lake levels were high and there was a threat of lake flooding, this year we have been advised that the lake is now higher than that level and higher than the levels where inland flooding occurred in 1986,” said Gary McNamara, Mayor of Tecumseh. “Residents in the flood prone area need to make their plans now to prepare for potential inland flooding.”

As of March 31, 2020, the elevation of Lake St. Clair was 3 cm above the previous record high in 1986. It is expected that the peak levels this summer will be 8 cm higher than June and July of 2019. There is a high likelihood that inland flooding will occur. How far inland, how deep the water and how it impacts the Town’s sewer systems is entirely dependent on precipitation and wind direction, intensity and duration. Inland flooding will likely occur in circumstances of sustained north/northeast winds.

With the current COVID-19 pandemic, emergency shelters are not available for those self-evacuating. Residents should identify a safe location to self-evacuate to and an alternate for back-up in the event the first is not safe. The Town will send out emergency notifications via our emergency alert system, on our website and social media. If you have not registered for emergency notifications, do so now at:

The Town conducted shoreline survey work in May 2019 to identify low lying areas where water may have the potential to breach the shore and flood further inland into Town. To mitigate overland flooding in these areas, Public Works crews distributed filled sandbags to property owners identified as low lying. Critical infrastructure such as pump stations and Town facilities were also protected with earth works and sandbags. In March 2020, the Town has followed up with impacted owners along the shoreline to re-assess and has provided additional sandbags where warranted.

“With the current elevation of Lake St. Clair and the projected levels in the coming months, it is extremely important for residents to prepare for the real possibility of lake flooding,” said Phil Bartnik, Director Public Works and Environmental Services. “A sustained north/northeast wind will significantly increase the risk of waves overtopping breakwalls causing inland flooding.”

Full details on potential lake flooding is available on the Town website at A direct link to register for Emergency Alert notifications is at the top of the page, residents should register for direct notification in the event of lake flooding. The Town has also created an evacuation assistance list. If you will need assistance in the event of an evacuation due to a medical or other mobility issue, and are unable to arrange assistance on your own, please contact 519-735-2184 Ext. 101 or 109 to register for this assistance. DO NOT wait until a flood event to call and register.           

As this situation is constantly changing with updated messages from the federal and provincial  governments, the Town will continue to provide ongoing updates on further decisions. All updates will be posted to our website and users may register for regular updates using the online subscription service.

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, we encourage you to visit the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit; Travel Advisories; Health Canada; and, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. Information on this and all Town of Tecumseh news and events is available at, Twitter (@TownofTecumseh), and Facebook (Town of Tecumseh).

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Media Contacts:

Phil Bartnik, P. Eng., Director Public Works and Environmental Services, 519-735-2184 Ext. 148

Wade Bondy, Director Fire Services and Fire Chief, 519-979-4041 Ext. 210