River­side homes flood af­ter rain last week

The Drumheller Mail - - NEWS - Kyle Smylie The Drumheller Mail

The last month has been one of the wettest Julys in Drumheller’s re­cent mem­ory, and un­sea­son­ably heavy rain ear­lier this week had many res­i­dents re­port­ing flood­ing in their base­ments and yards.

In­fra­struc­ture Di­rec­tor Al Ken­drick said flood­ing has been par­tic­u­larly af­fect­ing res­i­dents in the River­side Drive area. The wa­ter lines bot­tle­neck around 11 Street East as two mains meet there be­fore be­ing piped to 19 Street East, which was also backed up, be­fore flow­ing to the wa­ter treat­ment plant east of Drumheller.

“Our storm sys­tem only han­dles so much and only so much can get down those grates… you get a cer­tain amount of storm ac­tiv­ity and when the streets flood it gets through the steel on top of the man­hole lids and through the cracks in the as­phalt. You can have sig­nif­i­cant flow com­ing at you just through in­fil­tra­tion – we fix it as we go,” Ken­drick said. wells and through any cracks in the foun­da­tion. It’s been a whole host of things over the last cou­ple of days and the staff have been busy do­ing what­ever they can to re­lieve most of the sit­u­a­tion,” Ken­drick said.

“Our storm sys­tem only han­dles so much and only so much can get down those grates… you get a cer­tain amount of storm ac­tiv­ity and when the streets flood it gets through the steel on top of the man­hole lids and through the cracks in the as­phalt. You can have sig­nif­i­cant flow com­ing at you just through in­fil­tra­tion – we fix it as we go.” “I’m sick to my stom­ach be­cause we fin­ished putting in this ex­pen­sive valve and clean­ing the base­ment and it hap­pened again within a month – it’s scary.”

Me­gan McLauch­lin said the base­ment in her home on 11 Street East and River­side Drive was flooded with 12 gal­lons of sewer backup on Wed­nes­day, even af­ter her fam­ily had pur­chased a main line back­wa­ter valve to pro­tect from back­ups af­ter it flooded four inches af­ter a storm on July 1. It dam­aged dry­wall and ap­pli­ances in their fin­ished base­ment and she has since been deal­ing with in­sur­ance to cover the ex­pense.

“I’m sick to my stom­ach be­cause we fin­ished putting in this ex­pen­sive valve and clean­ing the base­ment and it hap­pened again within a month – it’s scary,” said McLauch­lin.

Ken­drick said this last month of rainy weather was some­thing town in­fra­struc­ture ser­vices hasn’t seen in some time.

“I had two to three inches in my own yard, and I haven’t seen that in for­ever and a day. You’d see it in the spring but never see it in a sum­mer storm,” said Ken­drick.

Soil can only ab­sorb so much mois­ture and wa­ter has to run some­where if it’s not re­tained, he said.

Flood­ing af­ter un­ex­pected rains is com­pounded by hu­man ac­tiv­ity, he said.

“As more lots are be­ing paved there is less ab­sorp­tion through the ground and it’s got to go some­where.”

“In any areas sub­ject to over­land flood­ing we do our best to try and re­duce vent holes on top of the steel, try­ing to be proac­tive the best we can with Mother Na­ture. But we never know what will be thrown at us.”

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