WINDSOR, ONT. -- As lake levels sit six inches higher than they were at this time last year, City of Windsor officials are reminding residents to be prepared and stay informed.

“If we look at just what our average April for the last 100 years or so, we’re 34 inches above where we sit on average,” Windsor Fire and Rescue Chief Stephen Laforet said in a zoom conference regarding flood preparedness.

Lake St. Clair is now four inches higher than the region’s record high for the month of April.

In the United States Army Corps of Engineers’ weekly briefing, which provides trends for water levels of the Great Lakes as well as Lake St. Clair, the Lake St. Clair levels are projected to go down, but Laforet said it is important to be prepared for a “worst case scenario.”

With the added challenge of COVID-19, Laforet encouraged residents in high-risk areas to have a plan should an emergency situation require people to evacuate.

City engineer Mark Winterton said the city has made progress on its eight-point sewer plan including work on the Ganatchio trail, several road construction projects, the basement subsidy program, sewer flow monitoring and work is underway on the Little River dike improvement project.

The city has also been approved for phase one the Disaster Adaptation and Mitigation Fund in a series of flood prevention projects over an eight-year timeline.

“We’re flat as a pancake and surrounded by water,” mayor Drew Dilkens said of the flooding concerns in the area.

Around 5,000 residents have registered for “Windsor Alerts,” the city’s emergency alert system, which the mayor said will provide residents with fast information on emergency situations including flooding and encouraged residents to stay informed.

For Windsor residents living in high risk flood areas, the city is offering up to 100 free sandbags per day to help mitigate flood damage. For those who are unable to pick up the sandbags themselves, contractors are available at a discounted rate to deliver if needed by calling 311.