June 20, 2014 7:27 pm

Flood cleanup underway in Coaldale

John Vermeer's flooded basement.

Supplied, John Vermeer

LETHBRIDGE – It was during the heavy rain fall this week when John Vermeer noticed water filling his basement.

The Coaldale resident and his wife quickly rushed to vacuum it up, but there was just too much water.

“Once we saw it coming through the walls I just looked at my wife and said, ‘we’re done. We can’t keep up with this.'”

This isn’t the first time Vermeer has dealt with flooding in his home, but he says it’s never been this bad.

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“We’ve been here for 24 years and this is the first year that we had this much damage.”

Vermeer says he thinks the Town of Coaldale could have prevented the sewage backup.

“It seems fairly obvious that they don’t have the capacity to pump that amount of sewer water at their lift station, so either they need more pumps or they need a larger sewer system altogether.”

Dean Duff is with On Side Restoration. He says the company has received 160 calls regarding sewer and drain back-ups in Lethbridge County. He says home owners can help clean-up crews coming to repair flood damage by salvaging their personal items.

“Right now to speed things, items that are not affected, you know if they can pack them out and move them out of the way, so it gets out crews in there to speed up that process.”

In Lethbridge over 200 homes have been impacted by flood water, with nearly another 200 affected by sewage back-up.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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