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Brockville couple going to unusual heights to save their home

Going to new heights to combat high water levels

One couple near Brockville is going to unusual heights to keep their house from flooding in the future.

High water levels just west of Brockville have forced Debra McCord, Bill Cody and their house to literally rise-up.

“The charm of our property was the location, how it’s situated on the river, that’s now changed forever,” McCord said of the home they bought in 2004.

“We are water people…and that’s what we are trying to protect,” says Thousand Islands resident
“We are water people…and that’s what we are trying to protect,” says Thousand Islands resident

Cody agreed.

“Am I pissed off? Sure. But this is what we have to do in order to survive, in order to keep our house.”

McCord said they’ve worked hard to keep the look and Victorian charm of the home, which dates back to 1882.

But that’s going to change, thanks to rising water levels in 2017 and again this year, Cody said.

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On Friday morning, forms were being brought in as new foundation walls were poured.

“When we were pumping it out we were staying about nine inches ahead of the river, so we were pumping the river through our crawl space and if we hadn’t done that the electrical, the infrastructure would have been affected, the house would have been condemned and we would have been at a loss, a huge loss,” Cody explained.

McCord said she was shocked that the work is not covered by insurance and there’s no government program that she knows of that provides any assistance.

Like others, Cody and McCord blame mismanagement by the International Joint Commission (IJC) for the flooding problems. McCord says this isn’t a climate-change issue.

“This is man-made; it’s created to allow water to be higher for longer periods of time and it seems that they want the water higher, I don’t know if it’s ever going to go (lower) again.”

Eastern Ontario mayors demand IJC reduce river and lake water levels
Eastern Ontario mayors demand IJC reduce river and lake water levels

The couple will join others at an upcoming rally on Parliament Hill on Nov. 23.