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Thursday September 29th, 2016

Posted at 2:42pm

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Officials in Tecumseh say that more than 190 mm of rain has fallen since 9pm on Wednesday , September 28th, 2016. Approximately 100-110 mm of that fell between 5am and 10am today.  This is the highest volume of rain experienced in a short amount of time ever recorded in the town’s history. Almost all areas of town have been affected by flooding.

“The worst storm in our records was approximately 89 mm of rain in 24 hours,” said Dan Piescic, Director of Engineering and Public Works. “That event in 2010 had us review our sanitary and stormwater management systems and improve areas where we could respond to an event of that size. Unfortunately, this storm is unlike anything the town has experienced. All systems were, and continue to be, fully operational. If residents see equipment outside the pumping stations it is there to remove any debris that comes through while the system is operating at maximum capacity.”

Town officials say that all pumps and pumping stations continue to operate at maximum capacity with 25 staff members from the Public Works and Parks Departments on-site throughout Tecumseh clearing drains, ensuring pumps are working and assisting emergency services where needed. This includes the use of heavy equipment where necessary.

“This is an extreme situation, unprecedented in Tecumseh,” said Gary McNamara, Mayor. “This was a high volume of rain that fell in a short period of time. Storm systems are normally designed to accommodate a two to five-year storm event, depending on the infrastructure. We have reached out to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs to assist in assessing the damage.”

OPP and Tecumseh Fire crews say they have responded to more than 100 emergency calls for assistance with stalled vehicles, electrical issues in flooded basements and gasoline fumes from pumps. They ask that drivers stay off the roads, where
possible and take caution while driving through flooded areas as emergency crews need to be available to respond to calls.

“Residents should take appropriate caution for the next 24 hours,” said Doug Pitre, Tecumseh Fire Chief. “Please do not go out in the streets on recreational equipment, pedestrians be careful crossing the road, do not go in your flooded basements if there are electrical devices still connected to power sources and if you must operate a generator or diesel/gas pump, please ensure there is proper ventilation. This equipment should not be used in basements or garages or outside adjacent to open windows.”

The Essex Region Conservation Authority is calling for an additional 40-60 mm of rain today and into Friday with high winds that could impact the shoreline. This weather will affect most of Tecumseh, Lakeshore and Windsor.

Residents are asked to keep children and animals away from standing water and if possible, check all drainage around your residences to ensure water is flowing away from overtaxed storm systems.

The Town is tracking flooding on properties and any residents who have not contacted the Town already may submit information to www.tecumseh.ca/flood2016 with details on impacts to their residence. We encourage everyone to call their insurance company for claim details.

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