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Spotlight Story: Windsor, Ontario

City of Windsor logoOver the years, the City of Windsor has experienced serious floods due to heavy rainfall and as a result has implemented a variety of projects to mitigate flood risk. With a number of programs that offer residents important information and enable them to tackle flood risk, Windsor is developing into a city that is well-equipped for flooding.

The city of Windsor kick-started the Basement Flood Protection Subsidy Program (BFP) where residents can acquire up to $2,800 to equip their homes with flood-protection devices. The protection measures included in the program are backflow valves and sump pumps, with various supplementary measures available, such as disconnecting floor drains and adding a sump pump overflow depending on what is needed. This incentive program is a great way to motivate community members to increase their home’s resiliency to flooding. Details on the cost of the program options can be found at: https://www.citywindsor.ca/residents/maintenanceandfieldservices/Sewers-/Pages/Basement-Flooding-Protection-Subsidy-Program-(BFP).aspx.

SewerThe City of Windsor is also undertaking a Sewer Master Plan whereby improvements will be made to the sewer system to reduce the likelihood of flooding. Throughout the development of the plan, the city invites residents to share their input and personal flood experiences. Community members are invited to learn more about the plan by visiting the project website, Weathering the Storm (https://weatheringthestorm.ca/). This project complements other flood-related programs and encourages residents to learn more about mitigating floods in their city.

In 2018, the City of Windsor worked alongside Partners for Action to learn more about residents’ flood experiences and find out how they’re preparing for floods. This research was conducted using online surveys and focus groups. Emergency staff and service providers were also interviewed to learn about community members’ needs. The results of this research will contribute to and help to inform a number of City of Windsor initiatives

To educate its residents on the different types of flooding, the City of Windsor provides helpful information on their municipal website. The website includes details on property level flooding, such as road flooding and yard flooding, which can be very useful to residents. The website also lists various measures to mitigate these types of floods, such as installing a sub-drain in your yard. Informative videos are available online to show how these devices are installed. Residents are reminded to contract licensed professionals for installations to ensure that each job is completed safely and correctly.  

Infiltration trench diagramTo further increase community education on property-level flood preparedness, the City of Windsor developed the Climate Resilient Home. The Climate Resilient Home, is a home built in the 1920s that has since been equipped with flood prevention measures to educate residents about property-level measures to protect their homes from overland flooding and foundation leakage. For example, rain gardens are suggested to slow down and soak up excess water on the property. The home also exemplifies how downspouts can be disconnected from the sewer system and how to direct water away from the property. Homeowners are also taught about installing an infiltration trench that reduces runoff on the property and assists with groundwater storage. The model home also has a sump pump, backwater valve and a regraded landscape. Information about each measure can be found online (https://www.citywindsor.ca/residents/environment/climate-change-adaptation/climate-resilient-home/Pages/default.aspx)

The City of Windsor is taking many steps to include its’ community members in flood mitigation planning and education with a variety of incentivized initiatives and unique projects. The city’s flood-related information and details on their projects are easily accessible online and residents are encouraged to contact the city if they have any inquiries. With multiple programs and plans encouraging community members to get involved in mitigation, the City of Windsor is on the road to successful flood preparedness.

Works cited:

CTV Windsor. (2018, March 22). City of Windsor looking for public input on sewer master plan. Retrieved November 22, 2018, from https://windsor.ctvnews.ca/city-of-windsor-looking-for-public-input-on-sewer-master-plan-1.3854466