Repeated flooding on Saskatoon’s east side has left homeowners fed up, and they want the city to take action.
Heavy rainfall washed out several roads on Aug. 8, with water levels climbing beyond wheel wells and into backyards and basements.
Residents spoke emotionally in front of council’s Environment, Utilities and Corporate Services committee Tuesday morning, demanding something be done.
“This last flood devastated me,” said Jennifer Kerr, who has lived on Early Drive in the Brevoort Park neighbourhood for 12 years.
Kerr said her property floods multiple times a year, and she’s forced to run several pumps in the spring to get rid of runoff from melting snow. She added her yards, both at the front and back of her house, have sunk due to the repeated washouts.
“I’m stuck,” she said. “It is no benefit to me to have my basement re-done.”
Kerr explained she delved into archived records on Early Drive, which showed the street has flooding issues dating back at least to 1974.
She’s advising the city to buy her property, and others around it, with the purpose of building a retention pond.
“Other neighbourhoods have them,” she said. “I live on a lake … I want you to build a lake.”
PROPERTY VALUES FALLING
Ross Miller, who lives near the intersection of Dufferin Avenue and Bute Street, is looking for a similar solution.
“When it rains, our area fills up,” he said. “My intersection … is used as a retaining pond for other waters.”
He said both major rain events so far this summer raised water levels above the base of his home by six inches, with the level lasting for several hours.
“My property value is really reduced,” he said. “Enough is enough.”
Miller said city council seems to have an annual debate about flooding solutions, but little action is taken.
“We’re going to take other steps to get a solution to this,” he said.
“Because obviously the solution has not been coming from city hall. This has been going on for way too long.”
FLOOD PREVENTION EXPENSIVE: CITY
A report submitted to the committee Tuesday told councillors any solution to flooding would be at a high cost relative to flood damages.
Administration said creating a solution for three intersections would cost an estimated $18.9 million.
The intersections included in the business case are Dufferin Avenue and 1st Street, Dufferin Ave. and Cascade St. as well as Ruth St. and Cairns Ave.
Early Drive, Dufferin Ave. and Bute St. and the intersection of Taylor St. and Broadway Ave. weren’t included in the assessment.
The solutions include creating a storm pond in WW Ashley Park, which would drain water away from 1st St. and Dufferin Ave.
The $18.9 million pricetag would protect a total of 130 properties, according to the report.
Mayor Charlie Clark reminded the committee even the proposed engineering solutions weren’t foolproof.
“If we go down a road that doesn’t relieve the anxiety of flooding, we’re only halfway there,” he said.
The proposed projects would be built to withstand what the city considers a one-in-10 year rain event. A storm on July 10 was considered a one-in-25 year storm.