June 13, 2013 6:32 pm
Updated: June 13, 2013 10:24 pm

Cleanup continues in Edmonton following Wednesday’s storm


EDMONTON- The cleanup continues in Edmonton, after severe weather rolled through central Alberta Wednesday.

It was a tense afternoon for Edmontonians and residents in surrounding communities, after a tornado warning was issued for many areas of the Capital Region. The storm moved in from southwest of Edmonton, and brought with it heavy rain, hail and wind.

Several businesses in west Edmonton were hit hard by the storm.

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“Within 10 minutes the water was just coming in. It was 10 inches deep off the sidewalks, just rushing in through the door in big waves,” Michael Kovtunenko, the manager of Alberta Exchange said Thursday morning.

Staff at the store, located at 151st Street and Stony Plain Road, began cleaning up immediately after the storm passed Wednesday.

Kovtunenko, along with other businesses in the building that suffered flood damage, are wondering why this continues to happen, year after year.

“It seems like we’re the only ones that it’s been happening to. Up a few blocks, up the street they seem to be fine. We have two manholes over here and it still doesn’t seem to help. The water just kept coming down,” Kovtunenko said.

“This is the second year in a row that the drains cannot handle the water flow, and the water fills up, flooding the building. It’s flowing in through the front doors as well as just taking out the basement,” added building owner Donald Calder.

Extra city crews were called in to help with the cleanup efforts overnight. The City of Edmonton says it received about 170 calls from residents across the city, most of them reporting dislodged manhole covers.

The following video was taken in the area of 51st Avenue and 99th Street Wednesday afternoon:

Some residents were attempting to help place manhole covers back where they belong, however, city officials say the 100-pound covers could cause serious injuries. Chris Ward, manager of drainage services with the city, is urging residents to leave manhole covers alone, if a situation like this arises again.

“They should really look at a manhole cover in the same light as they look at a downed power line; just leave it alone because it is unsafe,” Ward said Thursday. “If it’s a small sewer you’ll just get sucked down to the bottom of the manhole, which could be full or not. If it’s a large sewer, a 36-inch sewer or something, you could just get sucked right into the sewer in a worst case scenario.”

Ward says the city’s drainage system performed fairly well, overall. If anyone is still experiencing flooding, they’re urged to call 311.

To get real-time weather for your area, download the Skytracker weather app.

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