The way this blog is titled, there are two ways to look at it: Where homes are most likely to flood inside the home, and where homes are most likely to flood in our geographical area. I’m going to answer both. One answer is much simpler than the other. Let’s dive in.
Where Homes are Most Likely to Flood Inside the Home
Water always wants to flow down, that’s just gravity at work. So, the lowest point in your home is most likely to flood. We’re talking basements and crawlspaces. Crawlspaces often let in water through the dirt floor, foundation cracks, and even crawlspace vents. Basements can be flooded by broken pipes, sump pump failure, foundation cracks, seepage, sewer backup, overland flooding, you name it!
Why Homes are Most Likely to Flood in our Geographical Area
The photo at the top of this blog depicts this beautifully. Areas that have lower elevation in Windsor-Essex County are coloured in bright purple, dark purple, blues, and teals. Higher elevations are coloured in greens, yellows, and reds. Pretty cool right?
Now don’t celebrate too early if you live in the red or orange areas in the middle of Windsor-Essex. Elevation isn’t the only factor at play. First, it’s all relative. The highest elevation is red in comparison to the lowest elevation in purple. But Windsor-Essex County has an overall low elevation.
We are in the ballpark of 189 meters above sea level. Not bad right? But here’s the catch-22. The Great Lakes that surround us on three sides have an elevation in the ballpark of 182 meters. That’s 9 meters of wiggle room… beginning to see why we have a flooding problem?
Why Windsor-Essex County is Particularly Prone to Flooding
Arguably, most residents in Windsor-Essex County live closer to the Great Lakes and Detroit River than live in the county. So, most homeowners in Windsor-Essex are in areas which are commonly listed in news articles, and even notably on the Weather Network website. Most commonly listed flooding areas include: LaSalle, Downtown Windsor, South Windsor, Tecumseh, Lakeshore and Amherstburg [1,2,5,6,7].
The Grand Marias Drain in South Windsor is often used as a testimony to how heavy a rainfall is: the fuller it is, the more we’re in trouble. But not everyone may know that the Grand Marais Drain connects to Turkey Creek, which flows out into the Detroit River. Turkey Creek runs right through LaSalle, just half a block North of Reaume Rd. So next time the Grand Marais Drain is filled to the brim, remember that the water is flowing right through LaSalle! It’s no wonder they get hit particularly hard. The intersection at Laurier and Front Rd. has been closed down more than once in the past due to flooding.
In an environmental assessment study done on the Grand Marais drain, researchers state that the area surrounding the drain has a particularly shallow water table, sitting between 2-5 meters . A high-water table is a significant contributor to flooding in Windsor-Essex. It means there is less depth for soil to absorb heavy rainfalls. Just last year Windsor Regional Hospital’s Downtown campus flooded because our storm sewers were overwhelmed . Yikes.
Just this July, City of Windsor unveiled a Sewer Master Plan to address these issues… with a 180-million-dollar price tag to complete 36 different projects across Windsor-Essex . That’s 36 areas that need improvement across Windsor-Essex County.
The True Answer to Where Homes in Windsor are Most Likely to Flood
All the news articles, environmental studies, and city council projects lead us to believe that all of Windsor-Essex County floods to some extent or another. There are certainly areas that are higher risk, but flooding risk appears to be largely unavoidable no matter how you slice it. With this in mind, it is important to protect your home against flooding. Essex Region Conservation has a webpage that actively posts updates to flooding threats which you can access here: https://essexregionconservation.ca/flood-status/
Our mission is to make every home in Windsor as safe as possible against flooding. All it takes is a phone call and a free assessment to get started.
- CBC/Radio Canada. (2020, August 28).Heavy rainfall floods homes, roads and trails in windsor-essex | CBC news. CBCnews. Retrieved November 23, 2022, from https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/rainfall-warning-effect-windsor-essex-chatham-kent-1.5703298
- Some Amherstburg residents dealing with flooded basements. Windsor. (2018, October 9). Retrieved November 23, 2022, from https://windsor.ctvnews.ca/some-amherstburg-residents-dealing-with-flooded-basements-1.4126720
- Environmental assessment studies & master plans. Environmental Assessment Studies and Master Plans. (n.d.). Retrieved November 23, 2022, from https://www.citywindsor.ca/residents/Construction/Environmental-Assessments-Master-Plans
- Borrelli, M. (2022, July 6).Here are the 36 projects included in Windsor’s $180-million sewer plan. Windsor. Retrieved November 23, 2022, from https://windsor.ctvnews.ca/here-are-the-36-projects-included-in-windsor-s-180-million-sewer-plan-1.5976361
- Borrelli, M., & Zadorsky, J. (2020, August 28).Heavy rainfall in Windsor-Essex leads to flooded basements and streets. Windsor. Retrieved November 23, 2022, from https://windsor.ctvnews.ca/heavy-rainfall-in-windsor-essex-leads-to-flooded-basements-and-streets-1.5082840
- Windsor Local News, happenings & updates | windsor star. (n.d.). Retrieved November 23, 2022, from https://windsorstar.com/category/news/local-news/
- Inc, P. W. N. (n.d.).The storm that flooded 1,700 southern Ontario homes and cost $108 million. The Weather Network. Retrieved November 23, 2022, from https://www.theweathernetwork.com/ca/news/article/this-day-in-weather-history-september-30-2016-windsor-flooding