More Kelowna homes flooded, residents point blame at new construction above

More Kelowna homeowners pointing the blame at new construction above their properties for the flooding that has damaged their homes

Konrad Pimiskern’s backyard is completely saturated in water.

“We’ve got a river running through our backyard,” he said.

Pimiskern lives on Lynrick Road in Kelowna, and has spent the last three days digging trenches to divert the water.

“Trying to keep it from going into the house but it has not helped,” Pimiskern said.

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His basement is also submerged in water.

Marcus Schmaling lives a few houses away. His home has also been flooded.

“It just keeps coming and coming and coming,” he said. “Yesterday we had three inches.”

The flooded homes are in the lower section of the Kirschner Mountain development.

Donna Greer lives on Verda Vista Road. She was one of the first to have her home flooded last week.
READ MORE: Kelowna resident blames developer for flood problems

Longtime residents say this kind of flooding has never happened before and they point to new construction work above as the likely cause.

“That is the only big change in the last 20 years is this development,” Schmaling said.

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Pimiskern said he also thinks the new development is the likely cause.

“What’s happened here, I think, is this is a mistake,” he told Global News. “Someone has made a bad mistake and there’s a number of people who are impacted by this mistake.”

Earlier this week, developer Al Kirschner told Global News his crews are doing everything they can to divert the water from the affected homes.

But he says the water isn’t the result of the construction work.

“We got more snow than normal,” Kirschner said. “We got 150 per cent more snow pack than normal and it’s late so it hasn’t started thawing until the last two weeks.”

The City of Kelowna said it has received at least six formal complaints from homeowners in the neighborhood.

Staff have been on site three times this week as they try and determine the cause of the flooding.

“We do have to look into it,” the City of Kelowna’s development engineering manager James Kay said. “We are currently assessing it, our crews are on site.”

Kay said it’s not clear where the water is coming from.

“It could be snow pack from last year, it could be snow pack from 10 years ago,” Kay said. “When it infiltrates into the ground and then comes out at people’s homes, there isn’t any way to directly connect ground water with the adjacent properties.”

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When asked if the new construction could be to blame, Kay told Global News it’s possible.

“There is a chance and that is partly why we are investigating,” Kay said. “We need to make sure, but at this moment what we are focused on is protecting our residents and then the investigation will ensue.”