Spring melt, blocked drains cause havoc in Edmonton alleys

Click to play video: 'Spring melt, blocked drain floods Edmonton alley'
Spring melt, blocked drain floods Edmonton alley
The spring melt is on and it's leaving a mess on city streets and especially in some alleys. Nicole Stillger has more from one Edmonton man dealing with intense flooding behind his house – Mar 19, 2022

The spring melt is leaving a mess on Edmonton streets and especially in some alleyways.

Holyrood homeowner, Chris Daubercies has lived in the neighbourhood for a decade and said he’s never seen his alley in such terrible shape.

“Water does accumulate here periodically, but it’s never been this bad,” Daubercies explained.

He said thick ice was clogging the nearby drain and the water wasn’t moving at all, which meant the water flow from spring melt started to rise.

“It filled up so much it was flowing into our garage,” he explained.

Daubercies even brought out his kayak and paddled down the alley.

“We thought it would be funny just to joke around a little bit and just make a point of how much water there really is,” he said.

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Chris Daubercies paddles down his alleyway in a kayak as large chunks of ice and spring melt have created a mess on March 18, 2022. Courtesy: Chris Daubercies

“When it started flowing into the garage it stopped being funny — kind of got a little worried at that point.”

Several neighbours along with Daubercies have made daily complaints to 311, but the issue remains.

“I tried chipping out the drain myself, but I don’t have the appropriate tools,” he explained.

An emergency call to EPCOR Friday night resolved the situation and on Saturday morning the drain was cleared.

EPCOR told Global News five crews were out Saturday to help uncover drains in areas with flooding from warmer temperatures — responding to more than 100 calls all over the city.

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“There are more than 65,000 catch basins or drains in the City of Edmonton, and they allow meltwater and rainwater to flow into the drainage system. If your catch basin is buried under snow and ice, a path will need to be created for the water to run into the catch basin,” EPCOR said in an email.

According to EPCOR, so far this year there have been 1,149 spring melt calls. Fewer than 100 were outstanding as of 4 p.m. Saturday.

“Previous years I’ve been able to chip the ice around the drain and let it flow away, but we’ve never had this kind of accumulation of snow and ice — this year was extra bad,” Daubercies said.

EPCOR said if your catch basin is covered by a windrow to call 311 and request City of Edmonton Park and Road Services to come out and clear the road and the catch basin. The company said work will continue through the weekend.

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