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'Water was 10-to-12 feet high': Flood damage in Warwick Township still being assessed

Standing next to his cornfield, Mackie Rombouts couldn’t reach as high as where the water was just a few days earlier.

“This corn was completely underwater,” said Rombouts, pointing to the top of his corn in his field on Zion Line in Warwick Township, Ont. on Sunday. “It was 10-to-12 feet [three metres to 3.6 metres] high, right over the tassel at this area.”

The farmer, who has 1,500 acres, said he won’t know the results of the flood damage for another month or so, but prays it won’t be in bad shape.

He is worried there could be water damage, downed trees in the field, or eventually a lower test weight.

“There also could be mold,” said Rombouts. “There could be other issues like the roots don't like to be in too much water. They need some air in them in the soil as well. So when they're underwater for that long it can cause issues with the roots and uptake of nutrients.”

Just a few hundred metres from his house, pavement leading to the bridge on Zion Line was shifted by a few feet due to flood waters. The road is closed indefinitely.

Warwick Township is still in a state of emergency after flooding damaged the area on Aug. 23, 2023. (Brent Lale/CTV News London)

“My parents have lived here since 1970 and they have never seen the water go over the bridge at Bear Creek and Zion Line and it was approximately two feet deep,” added Rombouts. “It actually took the new pavement [and] shifted the pavement over about two feet [60 centimetres].”

Warwick Township road crews have been working to re-open many of the gravel roads which were closed after Wednesday’s storm which brought 180 mm of rain in the span of four hours.

An emergency declaration is still in place, five days after the flooding.

Mayor Todd Case said he has never seen that much rain a short period of time in his lifetime.

“We do have to go out we have to look at that giant piece of road on Zion,” said Case. “We need to have an engineer look at it and get a value. We also have to look at our other roads were washed away as well.”

Case is praising the public works staff, firefighters and Emergency Management Team for their efforts in the 48 hours following the storm.

The pavement on Zion Line in Warwick Township, Ont. has shifted by more than 60 centimetres due to flood waters after a storm brought 180 mm of rain in four hours on Aug. 23, 2023. (Brent Lale/CTV News London)

On Monday, he will have more of an idea of the damage.

“Our Emergency Management Team is going to get together at 10 o' clock in the morning and we're going to just see where we're at,” said Case.

He added, “Then at 3:30 [p.m.] we'll be bringing council to give them a briefing. What it's all about tomorrow is trying to get a tally of the damages we've had in the community, trying to get that number, and then trying to also help people wherever we can.”

To assist residents, the township has partnered with Twin Creeks Landfill to extend their hours and offer free drop off.

They also have placed bins around Watford to help those who can't get to the landfill. Top Stories

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