What’s Being Done to Prevent Flooding in the City?

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Stock Photo of Wellington St. underpass. Photo by Lynne Brown/Superior Media

Prior to Monday evening’s meeting, Coun. Bruni brought up questions and concerns in regards to flooding and preventative maintenance in certain areas of the city after the recent storm and flooding last week.

“As Councilor Niro and I are aware, Peoples Rd., Hillside Dr., Hill St., Elliot Rd., Johnson Ave., Diane St., Pozzebon Cres., Bitonti Cres., Farewell Terrace, also the bottom of Wilson St., Lake St., and  Treelawne, all received flooding,” Bruni said.

Bruni then went on to list the names of a few resident home owners who have reached out to him after dealing with their third flooding in six years.

“They’ve installed check valves, sump pumps, and any other preventative maintenance measures to prevent flooding,” he said.

“Insurance costs have doubled and tripled for these homeowners and several residents have been informed that they will not be able to purchase insurance for their homes because of too many claims they’ve put in because of the flooding.

“Prior to 2013, this residents never experienced flooding even once, so what’s changed and where are we with the environmental study that was passed in November of 2018?” Bruni asked City Director of Engineering Services Don Elliot.

Elliot explained that environmental assessments, or EAs, are generally conducted in the fall, and once the request for proposal goes through and they find a consultant (in a month or two) it could take 10 – 12 months to complete.

“I’d emphasize here that an EA is never a quick fix,” Elliot said.

“When you have a problem of this nature, there is considerable studying and consultation that you need to complete in order to determine what the final and prefered solution is.”

Elliot said these things can take much longer than a year, but he expects this one will be completed a year from now, and then council can come up with a game plan and figure out where the funds will come from.

“I assume there will be some storm water storage involved, not unlike what we did over between Pim St. and McNabb St., that $7 million project that was completely recentlyy after being identified in 2011 as a major issue,” he explained.

“So it’s not a quick fix, but it’s usually the best long-term fix.”

Larry Girardi Deputy CAO, Public Works and Engineering Services, said the city has been implementing short-term fixes in this specific area since 2013, such as opening up the creek in that area, putting in new grates, enlarging the culverts on both sides of Peoples Rd. and keeping the system flushed out regularly, including after the storm.

Girardi’s recommendations to the residents affected are to ensure their sanitary and storm systems connections to the city’s system are in accordance with local bylaws.

“Each individual property is different; there’s more emphasis sometimes on one thing than another; it depends,” he said.

“A good plumber is very helpful with that, public works staff has a lot of experience as well in those situations.”

11 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve lived on lower Wilson Street most of my life. This is a decades old problem that we have been assured has been fixed multiple times. And yet it keeps happening. When did it start to get bad? When they messed with trying to connect upper and lower Wilson and did culvert work in Snake gully at the curve of Trelawne. My parents said the city was warned by the “oldtimers” but their “experts” knew better.

  2. “Elliot said these things can take much longer than a year, but he expects this one will be completed a year from now, and then council can come up with a game plan and figure out where the funds will come from.”

    so basically, you’re all SOL for another year of flooding.. and good luck getting insurance!

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