Portage Place parkade floods, shutting down food court, trapping cars

Portage Place Parkade Flood
Portage Place parkade flooded Tuesday after what may have been a construction accident. Video courtesy Jacob Marks.

Sections of a downtown Winnipeg mall had to be shut down as people frantically tried to rescue their cars from rising water in the underground parkade.

Portage Place Shopping Centre was hit by gushing water over the lunch hour Tuesday, flooding the parkade and sending shoppers and workers scrambling to remove their vehicles.

“Just got my car out, it’s a lake in there. Saw one car getting absolutely drenched by a gusher of water hitting it right in the middle of the windshield, sucks for whoever has to try getting in to move it,” wrote one person on social media site Reddit.

While it was unknown where the water was coming from, the owner of the parkade, the Forks-North Partnership, told 680 CJOB it was likely from nearby city crews doing construction.

Story continues below advertisement

However, the city said they had nothing to do with it.

“A contractor working in the area of Vaughan St. and The Promenade damaged a private water service,” they wrote in an email.

“As a result, people in downtown and surrounding areas may experience discoloured water for the next 24 hours.”

Most cars were able to be removed, although some remained stuck, they said. Winnipeg police directed traffic outside the parkade for a time.

READ MORE: Portage Place meet-up ends in teen assault, armed robbery

To stem the tide, crews had to shut the water off completely, meaning the food court and the washrooms were shut down.

Pictures and video posted on social media showed inches of water on the floor and a waterfall cascading down the stairs to the parkade in the mall.