TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN
Soaked ground and wind combined to topple this retaining wall as well as the fence in the background, on Antelope Bay in Brandon on Tuesday evening. People throughout Westman continue to assess damage and clean up after the third torrential downpour in four days.
It was a feeling of déjà vu for some Meadows and Linden Lanes residents as they scrambled to save their belongings from their rapidly flooding basements Tuesday night.
Soaked ground and wind combined to topple this retaining wall as well as the fence in the background, on Antelope Bay in Brandon on Tuesday evening. People throughout Westman continue to assess damage and clean up after the third torrential downpour in four days. (TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN)
The cleanup in the Meadows/Linden Lanes neighbourhood continued Wednesday following the storm. Several basements flooded, so residents had to tear out carpet and remove furniture. (JILLIAN AUSTIN / BRANDON SUN)
"In 10 minutes, our whole basement had nothing but water everywhere again," said Jennifer Kennedy, who has lived in her Forest Boulevard home with her husband, John Kennedy, for the past 40 years.
For the Kennedys and several other homeowners in the area, the torrential downpour caused flooding similar to what they experienced in 2005.
"(Eight) years ago, almost to the day … I had 29 inches of sewage," said Wendy Bulloch, who has lived on Evergreen Boulevard for the past 23 years. "We lost our whole basement in ’05 … I just finished my basement last year."
Following the last flood, Bulloch installed a backup valve and sump pump. But those did not stop water from covering her basement floor on Tuesday.
"It’s frustrating … Why do we have to keep putting up with this?" Bulloch asked. "We don’t even know if this will be covered (by insurance)."
Randy Dujardin, also a resident of Evergreen Boulevard, saw five to six inches of water in his home.
"Everything’s ruined. My insurance will not cover the cost of flooring I have in my house," he said.
Scott Desormeau, who was helping Dujardin with cleanup on Wednesday said the city’s drainage infrastructure needs to be re-evaluated.
"It’s getting out of control, especially with the expanding areas — Brookwood, the south end, etc.," he said. "Their problems may be figured out with drainage going elsewhere, but it’s getting backed up this way, and it’s affecting other homeowners in Brandon. A definite re-evaluation needs to happen with movements of water, where it goes, how much we can hold."
Some streets looked like lakes on Tuesday, something residents in the area say isn’t that uncommon.
"I think because of the infrastructure that they have built in this city, they have not taken any pressure off of what is going on here," Dujardin said. "It seems every rainfall we get, we get the same lake, every time it rains and I don’t think that’s our problem."
John Kennedy said they now have to decide if they are going to once again redo their basement.
"Do we spend that money again?" he said. "We’re seniors … if we want to sell the home, you get more if it’s finished … which way do you go?"
Kennedy’s wife Jennifer said she hopes the city will look into potential upgrades to the sewer infrastructure in the area.
"I think the bottom line is you’ve got to do something about it this time. We can’t keep going through this. We can’t," she said.
City manager Scott Hildebrand said they will look at the issue again, however isn’t sure what more could be done to deal with such a heavy downpour.
"I know that they’ve done upgrades. It’s just the overwhelming amount of water that we received in such a short period," he said. "I’m hearing anything from three to four inches in certain areas of the city that fell within the hour."
Hildebrand said the city plans to request disaster financial assistance from the province.
"After talking with engineering … there’s probably not a system that you could design that would ever protect you from everything and that’s our problem right now," he said. "It was just an overwhelming amount of water."
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 27, 2013