CALGARY- Residents of the northwest community of Sunnyside have tough questions for the City of Calgary, after being flooded not once but twice.
About 30 homes along Memorial Drive and 1 Ave. got water in their basements, when heavy rain hit on Friday afternoon. The same homes were already damaged during the big flood at the end of June.
Homeowners are upset, saying the city had only partially opened the storm outflow gates which drain storm water into the Bow River. A resident assisted by firefighters was the one who opened the valve with a wrench, allowing the neighbourhood to drain quickly.
“The challenge of course is that if you get overland flooding from the other side, then preventing the backflow from the river means that it doesn’t drain into the river as quickly as it could,” explains Mayor Naheed Nenshi, adding that it’s urgent to keep gates partly open to protect the community from river water.
“We did drain into the river very quickly, but not before some houses were impacted and that really is awful,” he continued. “But I am told had those mechanisms not been in place, the entire neighbourhood would still be inundated.”
The 1.5 metre diameter pipe that drains water from city streets is already at 50 per cent capacity.
120 Sunnyside residents were assisted by a City of Calgary taskforce, made up of members from Water Services, the fire department, ATCO and ENMAX.