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The Weather Network
Nov. 12, 2019 | Tuesday
Local News
Heavy rain causes extreme flooding around town
The van der Zalm family experienced heavy flooding in their yard and basement as a result of heavy rain. They estimate the cost to repair the damages will be close to $70,000. (Supplied)

Torrential rain Tuesday night caused extensive damage to at least one home on Irvine Road.

The van der Zalm family noticed the excessive water around 6 p.m. but had little time to mitigate the flooding caused by more than three inches of rainfall over an hour and half, Jimmy van der Zalm said.

The family had four or five pumps on the property to remove the excess water, but the damage to the basement, where the water level reached nine inches, was already done, he said.

On Wednesday morning, the family was working with their insurance company to see what options are available to them, said John van der Zalm, owner of the home on 1499 Irvine Road.

“If it’s similar to what we’ve had before, it’ll be $70,000, maybe $80,000. We experienced similar flooding about a year and a half ago. A decade ago, we had similar flooding as well, the same thing,” he said.

He said he has been in contact with the town often for the last year about how it can better manage flooding concerns.

“We’ve been working with the town for over a year. They’re taking their sweet time. Not to be facetious, but it just takes a long time,” he said.

Betty Disero, lord mayor, said she was on Irvine Road around 8 or 9 p.m. Tuesday evening to assess the flooding. She said the water had trouble getting to the lake, and there was a creek which overflowed, causing a lot of flooding in a couple backyards around the Irvine Road, Firelane 12 area.

As the flooding in the area occurred on private property, Disero said the town just provided sandbags.

In an email assessment of the flooding Tuesday night, Disero said she believed the flooding at Joseph’s Estate Wines on Niagara Stone Road was caused by a blocked culvert owned by the region.

Maxine Wright, who lives next to Joseph’s Estate Wines, said she thinks some of Tuesday night’s flooding could have been avoided if the drains had been properly maintained.

“We took a walk, and it looks like a lot of the drainpipes and all that are not kept clear. As a result of that, the water can’t go anywhere,” she said.

She was told by the region there was six inches of rain throughout the day, which would cause some flooding in most situations, she added.

As far as she could tell, she said the flooding at Joseph’s Estate Wines was similar to what she experienced on her property, she didn’t know whether it had experienced any permanent damage. Any concern on her property was managed with sump pumps, she said, no water made it inside.

Employees at Joseph’s Estate didn’t comment on the effect of the flooding, and the winery owners couldn’t be reached.

Irvine and Firelane 12 was “washed out” with a lot of flooding, Disero said in the email.

“A few skids of sandbags were delivered to the area and private property owners are pumping water off their properties. There was a carbon monoxide alarm and the fire fighters have now cleared it,” she said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Disero said there were no new concerns about the night’s rainfall, but town staff were out to check the storm sewers and catch basins to make sure everything is clear all over.

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