Image of sand pile in lakewood park

The inaugural meeting of an extended working group to develop an action plan for Tecumseh to deal with lake flooding was held this morning at Town Hall. The group, consisting of representatives from Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA), Essex Power, Enbridge, Ontario’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the OPP, Tecumseh Fire and Rescue Services and Town staff will now meet and communicate regularly until the lake flooding threat has abated.

The purpose of the group is to prepare a response should a lake flooding event occur. At this morning’s meeting, the group went over work completed to date, resources available and what to expect based on current and expected lake levels. Water levels in the Great Lakes have reached record highs this year and Lake St. Clair is currently sitting above its previous record height in 1986 with a possibility of an additional two to six inches of water expected by the end of August. The Town has recognized the potential impact this will have on residents when north/northeast winds hit the shoreline. The effect would be intensified should a large rain event similar to those in 2016 and 2017 hit the Town.

“We have been in a constant state of lake flood warnings this year. Our partners in Leamington, LaSalle, Amherstburg, Lakeshore, Essex and Kingsville have experienced flooding of roads and municipal parks. This is no longer a case of ‘if’, but ‘when’ for Tecumseh,” said Gary McNamara, Mayor of Tecumseh who is supportive of the working group’s activities. “The lake levels are higher than the last major flood event in 1986 and properties on the shoreline have already seen the impact of this water increase. We are doing everything possible to protect our municipal infrastructure and share in the responsibility to help our residents prepare. How serious an emergency this is, is completely dependent on the winds and the rain but we believe it is better to be prepared for any outcome.”

Town staff is currently in the process of adding to its dedicated web page with information for residents and property owners on what to do in the event of a flood, including measures for evacuation. Additionally, ERCA will be holding four public open houses in August to educate the public on lake flooding and the impacts the region is currently facing.

Information on how to protect your property from flooding is available on the Town website at Subsidies for installing a backwater valve and/or disconnecting downspouts and installing a sump pump are also available at Residents who already have a backwater valve or sump pump installed should conduct regular checks that they are clean and operating effectively.

Tecumseh Lake Flooding Update