Essex Councillor Richard Meloche at the June 20, 2016 regular meeting of council. (Photo by Ricardo Veneza)

Essex Avoids Weekend Flooding

While portions of Essex County were underwater this past weekend, the town of Essex stayed above water.

Essex Deputy Mayor Richard Meloche says the town was able to dodge the flooding problems plaguing the neighbouring municipality of Leamington, an occurrence he finds pleasantly surprising.

“We had zero flooding reported, which is incredible because we had a lot of rain in a very short period of time,” says Meloche.

The deputy mayor says the town passed a crucial test of its sewer and drainage systems, considering nearby Windsor experienced record rainfall on Sunday.

Meloche made the comments following Monday night’s town council meeting, during which councillors agreed to accept an infrastructure and development services report on the effectiveness of the McGregor sanitary system. Meloche says he’s encouraged by what is in it, however, there is still a concern for residents who have experienced flooding in the past.

While residents may have escaped the flooding over the weekend, McGregor’s sanitary system is still susceptible to possible flooding issues. The area is currently served by a system made up of Essex’s stormwater system and Amherstburg’s sanitary sewer system, and the converging systems can allow extra water to pass through during heavy rains.

Meloche says in the light of this past weekend’s storms, he understands that for some people, a torrential downpour brings on a sense of anxiety, and he wants to be sure there are no such concerns with a converged sewer system like the one serving McGregor.

“It’s the same for anybody that’s had flooding in any area of the county,” says Meloche. “Every time it rains, you get this knot on your stomach. You’re concerned that ‘is this going to be one of those times where I’m cleaning up my basement again, or worse, cleaning up sewage?'”