View the many different precautionary and emergency measures that you can take to prepare and properly respond to a flooding event in Edwardsburgh Cardinal. Learn how the Township provides communication, sandbags and other resources to help keep you as safe as possible.

Before a flood

There are many things you can do to be as prepared as possible in the case of an unexpected flooding event in the Township of Edwardsburgh Cardinal.

Know your risks

Floods are typically caused by melting snow, ice jams, heavy spring rains and summer thunderstorms. Flash flooding is caused by violent rain storms or breaking dams — often occurring with little or no warning. They can damage property and cause serious harm.

Not sure if your home is located in a flood prone area? You can contact South Nation Conservation via email or by calling 1-977-984-2948 to order a Property Inquiry Service for a nominal fee.

The International Joint Commission monitors elevated Great Lake water levels and makes recommendations to the Canadian and United States governments in the event of flooding or other natural waterway occurrences.

Stay informed

South Nation Conservation keeps all residents informed of local flood alerts and messaging. View their website or the South Nation Twitter account for more information and updates.

Follow Township updates online and and through our Facebook and Twitter accounts during a flooding or emergency situation. 

The Province of Ontario also provides a current flood risk map.

Prepare an emergency plan and kit

In an emergency, you may be asked to evacuate your home. Thinking about what you would do in different situations and preparing a plan and emergency kit with every member of your family is the first step to being prepared.

Protect your property

The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management Ontario advises you to take the following steps to protect your property before a flood:

  • Put weather protection sealant around basement windows and ground-level doors
  • Install 'check valves' in sewer traps to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your home
  • Install the drainage for downspouts a sufficient distance from your home to ensure water moves away from the building
  • Move documents and keepsakes out of the basement
  • Keep instructions for shutting off gas and water valves handy and read them carefully
  • Talk to your neighbours and plan to help each other during an emergency


The Township will have sand piles available at multiple locations close to the waterfront this spring. Please call ahead at 613-349-9296 to pick up your bags at our Public Works Garage on Dishaw Street in Cardinal before filling them at the sand pile locations. Please follow all public health recommendations and practice social distancing while filling sandbags.

To build an effective sandbag wall, ensure you follow these instructions:

  • The base area of your sandbag wall should be clear of ice and snow.
  • Leave at least eight feet between your sandbag wall and the building.
  • The base of your sandbag wall should be at least two feet wider than the expected water height.
  • Every second layer of bags should be set back one quarter of a bag width on the riverside and the land side of the sandbag wall giving a step-like appearance. The top of the finished wall should be two feet wide.
  • The bottom layer of bags on the river side will run parallel with the river.
  • It is recommended that 6 mL polyethylene sheets in 10-foot wide rolls be used as a water proofing layer on the river side of the sandbag wall. The poly sheet should be placed loosely against the sandbag dike during construction with a protective layer of sandbags placed on the river side.
  • Have extra sandbags on hand to strengthen any weak spots in the wall.
  • If you are using untied bags, the top or unfilled portion of the bag should be stretched lengthwise and the next bag laid on top of it. Untied bags should be filled to half-full with the open end facing upstream so that sand is not washed away.

Estimate how many sandbags you may need with this online calculator.

During a flood

If you are in a flooding emergency and require immediate assistance, please call 9-1-1.

Safety tips and instructions

If you are instructed by emergency officials to evacuate your home, do so immediately. The Office of the Fire Marshal provides the following instructions in the event of a flood.

If you are indoors:

  • Move essential items and any household chemicals to an upper floor
  • Disconnect electrical appliances and do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water
  • Bring in outdoor furniture if you have time
  • Do not eat food that has come into contact with flood waters

If you are outdoors:

  • Move to higher ground if there is a chance of flooding
  • Do not walk through moving water
  • If you have to walk around, look for where the water is not moving and use a stick to check the ground in front of you
  • Keep children away from flood water
  • Do not drive through flood water

The Province of Ontario also provides instruction on what you can do during a flood to stay safe.

Well and septic safety

If your water supply well has been exposed to flooding, it may be contaminated with colourless, tasteless and odourless bacteria or chemicals that can cause serious illness in humans and pets. Immediately discontinue use. Do not boil the water as this does not make it safe. Obtain and use potable water from a safe source instead.

Do not use systems while the drain field or tanks are covered with water. Resume system use once the water in the septic drain field is below the distribution pipes.

South Nation Conservation provides additional instruction on what to do with wells and septic systems after a flood.

Flooded roads and access concerns

In the event that road access to your home becomes flooded, erosion and ground saturation may create unstable conditions for emergency vehicle traffic trying to reach you. They may be delayed or unable to get to you in an emergency.

You can find the following water pump and generator sales and rentals in our area:

After a flood

 After a flood, ensure you follow Township news updates and public health updates to remain safe. 

Flood recovery and safety tips

The Canadian Red Cross shares a step-by-step guide to flood recovery and helpful information for what to do after flooding. It is important that you take the following actions to stay safe:

  • Do not return home until you are advised that it is safe to do so.
  • Contact your insurance company and let them know about what happened. They will need a record of damage to your home and belongings, and may request photos or video.
  • Maintain good hygiene during flood cleanup by minimizing contact with flood water or anything that may have come in contact with it.
  • Wear protective clothing, including rubber boots or sturdy boots, safety glasses, hard hat, rubber gloves and a dust mask if conditions require it.
  • Do not use water that could be contaminated.
  • Discard any food items which may have been in contact with flood waters. When in doubt, throw it out!
  • Do not use any appliances, heating, pressure or sewage systems until electrical components are dry and have been inspected by qualified professionals.

Bringing private wells back into service

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit provides detailed instructions on safely bringing a private well back into service following a flood.

Impacts of flooded septic systems

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit provides information on impacts of flooded septic systems, including:

  • Signs that indicate your septic system has been damaged by flood waters
  • Additional actions to take
  • Protecting your septic system from further damage

Sandbag disposal

Remove sandbags when there is no longer a risk of flooding. Sandbags that have come in contact with flood waters can be contaminated and pose a risk to your safety.

When disposing of sandbags:

  • Wear gloves and boots to protect yourself from scrapes and contaminants.
  • If your sandbag has been in contact with flood waters or if you suspect that sandbags have come into contact with industrial waste, fuel, oil or other chemicals, dispose your sandbags at permitted waste handling facilities.
  • Sand from used sandbags should not be used in sandboxes, playgrounds or other areas where it will be in contact with people.
  • Sand can be used to cover icy roads and sidewalks, mixed with concrete or mortar as a base for sidewalks or pavement, or for cover in a landfill.
  • Instead of disposing them, you can use empty sandbags for future use or for recycling.
  • You can reuse clean, dry and filled sandbags at other flood sites for up to six months.