Sandbags and sump pumps: City braces for flooding with steady rainfall
With up to 70 mm of rain in the forecast for Hamilton Friday, Anne Lees was hoping sandbags and makeshift barriers would be enough to keep her property from flooding.
City workers dropped sandbags off at the Dundas resident’s home Thursday, creating a dike around the property before the rain started. Her sloped driveway flooded with four feet of water during the storm two weeks ago. It’s a mess that she is still dealing with after water seeped into her garage and basement.
“The sandbags make us feel a lot better. They should divert the water,” Lees said Thursday night. The problem, she says, lies with the grate system up the street. But she said city workers were checking on it frequently Thursday once the rain began.
“So far it looks good,” she said, as neighbours stopped by to help build back-up barricades for the driveway. “It’s not coming down like it was last time.”
Environment Canada says Hamilton was in for 15 to 25 mm of rain Thursday night, which could break the current record for May 4, which dates back to 1984, when Hamilton got 19.2 mm.
Another 15 to 25 mm was expected to fall Friday morning, and another 10 to 20 mm by night. Temperatures are expected to stay low throughout the weekend, hovering around 6 to 8 C before dropping to zero on Sunday with possible flurries.
With so much precipitation on the horizon, the Hamilton Conservation Authority has issued yet another flood-watch advisory for the city.
Water levels are already up, which raises concerns about safety and stability around shorelines, rivers and other water bodies — particularly for children and pets.
“Lake Ontario water levels remain well above normal, and are expected to increase further due to the forecasted rain,” the authority said in a release.
“In addition, forecasted northerly winds over the next couple of days may result in increased risk of shoreline flooding and erosion.”
The Grand River Conservation
Authority and Conservation Halton also issued flood watches. The GRCA noted Cayuga is one of the communities particularly susceptible to flooding.
“Ground conditions throughout the watershed are very saturated
and have limited ability to absorb rainfall,” the GRCA caution said. “Stay back from the water’s edge; it’s slippery.”
A combination of high water levels and high winds led to erosion of the pathway along Hamilton’s Waterfront Trail, leaving it off-limits. The Desjardins Trail was also underwater and has been closed. York Road in Dundas — hit hard during the last storm — was closed as a precaution Thursday night so city crews could assess a damaged culvert and embankment. Detour signs were expected to be posted Friday morning.
Any sewer backups, roadway flooding, fallen trees or debris in drainage ditches or culverts should be reported to the city at 905-546-2489.
A sandbag dike has been erected in front of 48 Ravine Dr. in Dundas after a blocked storm drain on Westoby Court sent water cascading out of the neighbourhood, across Watsons Lane.