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Oct. 25, 2021 | Monday
Local News
Residents left with damage after violent storm
This image shows the flooding at Bruce Moore's property on Four Mile Creek Road. (supplied)

Torrential rain last Tuesday left some residents asking why the town hasn’t been more proactive about drainage concerns.

John van der Zalm said he is growing impatient with the town. Van der Zalm said he had been watching the water flow and drainage around his property and knew that flooding would become an issue, which is why he had a petition to have town analyze the drainage signed by about 20 residents in the affected area, he said.

The "intense rain" last week caused the water to pool on his property and flood into his basement, he said.

"This year we were very lucky that everything thawed out nicely, it wasn't a flash thaw or anything, so everything was good. But then we had this intense rain ... They're still lolly-gagging," he said of the town. 

“Here we are, mid-August, and they haven’t even started on presenting something yet,” he said.

“I called the water department and they were still initially saying that they didn’t see any problems, there was just a lot of rain, etc. I asked about my engineering report.”

Manager of environmental services Brett Ruck said in an email response that that the town is working on Van Der Zalm's request but there's been no decision on whether the drainage problem is a town responsibility. He said, currently, the water course is on private property. 

“At a meeting the residents had with the town, the residents requested that the engineer look at many different scenarios. All residents were advised of the existing status of the water course being private drainage and that engineering reports take approximately a year to complete (some longer),” Ruck said.

Van der Zalm said when he called the town this past week about his concerns, he was asked to try back at another time.

“So, I’m asked to call them back in September to remind them. I’m a little ticked off, I don’t know what to say or what to do,” van der Zalm said.

Bruce Moore, who owns property on Four Mile Creek Road near Bethany Mennonite Church, said he’s lived in town his entire life and never experienced flooding like he witnessed Tuesday evening.

He said he believes it was caused by insufficient clearing of the town drains and ditch along his property.

Within 20 minutes, Moore said the ditch filled up and a stream of water flooded through his yard, though he didn't experience any property damage because the house sits farther back on the lot.

It is “the first time the flooding has been so extreme, but the ditches have always filled up with water. I used to clean it out myself, but they’ve changed up the configuration and I can’t get a mower in there now. I’m just not going to do it anymore – it’s their responsibility,” he said.

After he brought the drainage issue to the town’s attention last Tuesday evening, he said someone was onsite to clear it out the next morning.

“In all fairness, the guy came down the very next day. He said it should have been done already, but it was taken care of the very next day,” he said.

Van der Zalm is still anazlying the damage to his own property, which he said will likely cost more than the $70,000 he initially thought because the furnaces were affected this time. 

If the engineering report was completed before Tuesday's storm, van der Zalm said he believes this flooding damage could have been avoided.