To date, 29 properties have reported flooding, ranging from water seepage on the foundation walls to several inches of water on the basement floor. The hardest hit area this time was near the Osprey Blvd bridge where the Sixteen Mile Creek opens into the marsh. A pocket of homes on Alderwood Trail, four along Black Walnut Trail and two more on Tenth Line were also among the 29. An early review of the addresses is showing that all 29 reported homes had also been flooded in one or more previous storms.
Saturday’s 59 mm of rainfall is calculated as an estimate across the city. Staff are checking the rain gauges in Lisgar to determine an exact measure for our community. The characteristics of this storm seem quite similar in volume of rain and geography to the storm in October 2011 where 187 homes were affected. And while these numbers indicate there is progress being made in flood mitigation, 29 (and counting) is still a large number of flooded homes.
I met with City works and infrastructure staff on Monday morning and peppered them with several questions about the pumps – both the temporary ones used last weekend and the permanent one being constructed in the north end of the ward. I asked about comparing this storm to previous storms where flooding occurred. I asked why additional resources were not put in place given the forecast of record-breaking rain. And I asked if there was sufficient information to determine if there is a correlation between new sump pump installations and flood prevention.
Staff will be reporting back on these questions in a briefing note later this week once they have the answers. They did say that, according to staff in the field, the water level in the Foundation Drain Collector system (FDC) as a result of Saturday’s rainstorm appeared higher than ever and the pumps could not remove the water from the FDC into the stormwater system fast enough during the times of heaviest rainfall.
Staff indicated they would review changes to the High Water Protocol with regard to the quantity and quality of pumps that are dispatched with the truck and person in monitoring and addressing FDC water levels.
Staff said that its early observations of the storm indicate nothing new or significantly different from previous storms in terms of water flow, type and behaviour, and capacity in both the FDC and stormwater systems. This suggests no reason to divert from the current Council-approved work plan. By way of reminder, this work plan includes the construction of two additional pump stations along the Sixteen Mile Creek in future years similar to the one currently being built at the Cactus Gate parkette in north Lisgar.
I also want to bring to your attention again the Sump Pump Subsidy Program put in place by the City to assist homeowners with the expense related to the installation of a sump pump. If you haven’t already done so, please carefully consider this opportunity as an effective way to prevent or at least minimize future flooding in your home.