Flooding at Point Pelee National Park on Monday, April 16, 2018. (Photo courtesy of Point Pelee National Park)

Worst Shoreline Flood Damage In 20 Years

A representative from the Essex Region Conservation Authority says the damage from this weekend’s shoreline flooding is the worse he has seen in 20 years.

Municipal infrastructure in Leamington, Kingsville, and Pelee Island has been destroyed, and homes and breakwalls have seen significant structural damage.

“Six homes are likely damaged to the point of being destroyed. Marentette Beach area, East Beach, Cotterie Rd. all of those areas have seen significant damage to breakwalls,” says Tim Byrne of the ERCA.

Leamington Mayor John Paterson says municipal staff have been monitoring the damage all weekend.

“That water is angry and it was going over the breakwalls. The breakwalls just meant nothing to Lake Erie and there’s just debris everywhere,” says Paterson. “Breakwalls have been sucked out into the lake, parts of our roads are missing, the pavement is just gone.”

Paterson says they have reached out to provincial officials with the Ministry of Housing and Rural Affairs and are putting together a report to request disaster relief funding.

“The Ministry of Housing has given us a list of details they need before they can make a declaration of any kind and that’s what our staff is doing right now. Now that the water has receded we can see more or less what has happened and that’s where we are in the process,” says Paterson.

Crews from ERCA and the Municipality of Leamington are still assessing how much damage has been done.

“Overall damage assessment is going to be in the millions of dollars, both private and public. People are reeling from what happened this weekend,” says Byrne.

Paterson says it’s unclear how long it could take before the province responds to their request for assistance but the municipality is completing its report as quickly as possible.