Windsor spending $89M to help prevent basement flooding
Published Monday, July 23, 2018 10:47AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, January 14, 2019 5:41PM EST
Windsor city council has approved an investment $89 million investment in sewer upgrades to help prevent further basement flooding.
The plan features a series of 12 separate projects, including capital road projects and major improvements to local storm sewers on the city’s east end, including the Riverside area.
"This is a huge series of capital projects,” says Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens.
Among the projects, upgrades to the St. Paul pumping station to increase capacity by 40 per cent and the rebuild of the Belle Perch sewer line.
The work is part of a flood mitigation plan, introduced after two major flooding incidents within a year.
Significant rainfall, up to 290 millimetres in some areas, from Aug. 28 to Aug. 29, 2017 brought major flooding to Windsor, Tecumseh, and other parts of Essex County. City officials say they received over 6,900 reports of basement flooding.
It happened less than a year after more than 200mm of rain fell on Windsor and Tecumseh on Sept. 29, 2016. More than 1,500 homes in Tecumseh reported flood damage while Windsor’s 311 call centre received 2,532 reports of flooded basements during that storm.
Resident Wally Szumylo says his home was flooded during both storms. He tells CTV News the plan brings peace of mind.
“It’s not something we want to have to deal with, I would rather go to sleep and not worry about thunderstorms,” says Szumylo. “When they dug up our street, we saw problems in the sewers.”
Dilkens says the city is seeking $32 million in federal funding to help pay for the project. But if the city doesn't get the money, He says the project will still forge ahead.
“If we don’t get the $32-million, we will go back to council and figure out the plan to fund this ourselves,” says Dilkens. “This is too important of a project to let slip by.”
City officials say with or without federal funding, the project will begin in 2019. The work could take ten years to complete.