May 8, 2017 9:31 pm

Kelowna neighbourhood assesses damage, begins flood cleanup

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Sump pumps are working overtime in several South Central Kelowna residences after flooding from Mill Creek swept through the area on the weekend, filling basements and garages with water.

John Sinclair, a homeowner at Woodcroft Estates on Ethel Street, is still watching water being pumped out of his basement two days after the floods. He said his floors will need replacing, but no personal items were damaged.

“We were moving, so we had nothing in the basement,” Sinclair said. “We are one of the fortunate ones.”

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One of John’s neighbours, Andre Borak, had more severe flooding. He woke up on Saturday to several inches of water in his basement and a stream running through his back yard.

“There was water coming in from all four corners, the carpet was literally like standing on a pool cover,” Borak said.

So much water came in that Borak’s sump pump died midway through the morning. A plumber replaced it, and it has been going ever since.

“It’s amazing what can happen in literally a day, so hopefully we’re through it,” Borak said.

Across the street on Burne Avenue, Mill Creek had receded from Saturday’s record flows, but the cleanup was ongoing. Carolyn Blondin’s basement suite was flooded out, forcing her tenants to temporarily relocate.

“Flooring’s shot, the drywall we’ll probably have to take out the full panel,” Blondin said. “Some of the tenants possessions [were damaged], their mattresses. They didn’t have a ton of furniture but it’s their stuff.”

On Saturday, Mill Creek jumped its banks and cut a new path right through Blondin’s backyard.

“It was a raging torrent right through here, and it just goes right back into the creek here,” Blondin said. “You could have sat in a canoe and not even paddled, it would have just taken you.”

At the peak of the flood, water surrounded the entire home. Blondin estimated there may be $10,000 worth of damage, and she doesn’t have insurance. Despite this, Blondin is staying positive.

“It’s Mother Nature, stuff happens, you try to prepare for it as best you can,” Blondin said. “Now, I’m glad the water’s gone and we can get back to work, get going, get the tenants back in.”

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