Canada Worst storm in Windsor history caused $175 million damage to city homes

21:06  13 september  2017
21:06  13 september  2017 Source:   Windsor Star

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The disastrous “ storm of the century” that swamped Essex County in late August caused $ 175 million in damage to homes in Windsor alone.

Worst storm in Windsor history caused $ 175 million damage to city homes .

091217-no_object-237223307-ward1-W.jpg: A large crowd attended the Ward 1 public meeting on Sept. 12, 2017, at South Windsor Arena. © Dan Janisse, Windsor Star A large crowd attended the Ward 1 public meeting on Sept. 12, 2017, at South Windsor Arena. The disastrous “storm of the century” that swamped Essex County in late August caused $175 million in damage to homes in Windsor alone.

Mayor Drew Dilkens revealed the staggering number Tuesday night during a meeting for Ward 1 residents at the South Windsor Recreation Complex. Dilkens stressed the damage estimate is only for private homes and does not include city infrastructure.

He added that at last count Tuesday afternoon, flooding had been reported in 6,116 Windsor homes.

“I get how uncomfortable this is, I get how unnerving this is,” said Dilkens, whose house also flooded.

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Five deaths and hundreds of injuries were attributed to the event which caused million in 1922 dollars. Dustbowl Era - 1930s. The third worst killer tornado in Canadian history reared up across the Detroit River, killing 17 people and demolishing or damaging 400 homes in Windsor and the

He made the comments during the first of annual ward meetings of 2017. Each councillor will take a turn hosting a meeting. Fred Francis kicked things off Tuesday with his meeting in Ward 1.

Dilkens also made a presentation. He started by trying to dispel some “rumours” he’s been hearing. Among them was the idea that some pumps failed during the storm that dumped more than 220 mm of rain on the city.

“All the pump stations and systems were working during the flood,” said Dilkens.

He also addressed another concern that not enough is being spent on the sewer systems, by pointing out the city has put $500 million into sewers since 2001. That includes $273 million between 2009 and 2016, he said. Dilkens added that in July council approved $12 million for several projects.

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The storm caused the largest power outage in North Carolina's history . The second worst ice storm in history hit the South Feb. Downed trees and limbs caused widespread damage to homes , businesses and vehicles.

A large crowd attended the Ward 1 public meeting on Sept. 12, 2017, at South Windsor Arena.

Francis started the meeting by warning the crowd that the main topic of the night would be the recent flood — the worst one in Windsor history. That was what most people came to talk about anyway.

“Certainly the issue on everybody’s mind tonight is the flooding,” said resident Daniel Ableser. “For many people it’s the second time it’s happened in a year. I think in my neighbourhood there’s been four incidents of flooding in the past five years.”

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens speaks during the Ward 1 meeting.

He said about 75 per cent of houses in his neighbourhood were flooded in August.

091217-no_object-237223317-WARD5-W.jpg: South Windsor resident Mohammad Khan, left, speaks to Windsor city councillor Fred Francis regarding recent flooding during a Ward 1 public meeting on Sept. 12, 2017, at South Windsor Arena. © Dan Janisse, Windsor Star South Windsor resident Mohammad Khan, left, speaks to Windsor city councillor Fred Francis regarding recent flooding during a Ward 1 public meeting on Sept. 12, 2017, at South Windsor Arena.

“I think everybody agrees that is unacceptable,” said Ableser. “That is something that needs to be dealt with. That is certainly a concern in my neighbourhood.”

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Mohammad Khan, who lives on Avondale Avenue, questioned why homes on his recently redone road were flooded.

“My road is brand new, seven years old, OK?” said Khan. “It should be perfect. But still we got flooding. I’m living in the house 38 years. We didn’t have any problem. The basement was finished. Now the basement is shot.”

Khan questioned city officials after the formal meeting, but didn’t hear what he wanted.

“They give you the round and round, like ‘nothing wrong with us, it’s your bad luck,’” he said. “The world don’t run that way. Brand new road. We pay taxes for that.”

091217-no_object-237223313-WARD3-W.jpg: Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens speaks during the Ward 1 meeting. © Dan Janisse, Windsor Star Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens speaks during the Ward 1 meeting.

Ableser said he was happy that the city at least acknowledged there are infrastructure concerns to contend with.

“It’s good to see that they’re acknowledging to some extent that there’s an infrastructure issue,” he said. “While the party line is still that no infrastructure could sustain this, they are acknowledging that the things we’re talking about are infrastructure investments.

“That’s an acknowledgement that the infrastructure was not satisfactory.”

twilhelm@postmedia.com

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