Curb height and clogged drains a concern for Coronation Street man

Jamie Bennett
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Curb height and clogged drains a concern for Coronation Street man

Coronation Street resident Cliff Vaters woke to find heavy rain had melted the snow near his driveway and plugged the nearby catch basins and had also pooled on the road and started to run over his driveway near his home on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013.

CORNER BROOK — Heavy rain overnight and early Thursday made for a slippery, treacherous day along the city’s sidewalks and streets.

It was also a busy day for homeowners like Cliff Vaters.

The resident of Coronation Street woke to find the rain had melted the snow near his driveway and plugged the nearby catch basins. The water pooled on the road and started to run over his driveway before burrowing a track under the snow near his house.

It’s a problem he’s encountered before, and while he understands city crews have numerous priorities, he opted to clear the drain himself before risking any damage.

“If i didn’t loosen it up, it probably would have made a trench under the snow and done some ground damage,” Vaters said. “I knew if I waited for the city it might not be until later in the day, so I worked at it myself like I’ve done before.”

He’s lived on the street for over 30 years and said the issue is worse now that seasonal paving has built the road virtually level with his curb. Thus, there’s constant risk of water streaming onto his property from melting snow left on the side of the road.

“There’s nowhere else for the water to go in weather like this if you don’t open those catch basins to release the water,” he said. “It goes in people’s driveways and down over their lawns.”

Vaters said he’s been leery of flooding in his basement after his long-time neighbour’s basement was similarly flooded some years ago.

It’s this worry that caused him to check the drains and his driveway Thursday morning, and it’s led him to file complaints with the city over the years which, according to him, have been to no avail.

He said he understands the difficult job road crews have and thinks the problem can be solved by removing the snow before it collects and eventually melts.

“If you can get the snow before it’s worn into the ground, that will solve many of these problems,” he said.

“You don’t want to be a chronic complainer, and for the most part I don’t complain, but it doesn’t seem like this is a priority.”

Meanwhile, flooding at the All Saints Anglican Church forced the cancellation of a play group the church runs in conjunction with the local YMCA.

The group meets at the church from Tuesday-Friday and, while the parking lot was sanded and safe, Rev. Tanya White said the church’s basement took on plenty of water as melting snow and rain seeped through a crack in the building’s foundation.

“With the amount of water that came down last night, there was about an inch of water through the basement,” White said. “We couldn’t have kids down there.”

She expected the water to be removed and the basement back to normal by this morning.

Geographic location: Coronation Street

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  • Roy
    February 01, 2013 - 08:59

    The town of Corner Brook does not know how to build roads. I don't know if it's poor town planning, or poor engineering, or just being cheap. I, like many people in this province, have lived in many cities and towns. But Corner Brook is the only place I've been that uses a sloped curb. Sloped curbs are suppose to be only used for driveways and wheelchair access at crosswalks. They're designed to allow things to pass over them including large volumes of flowing water. The traditional vertical curb should the main curb seen along roads, especially in hilly areas. Vertical curbs are better at directing water to drains, keeping parked cars on the road (for some reason parking on sidewalks seems popular in CB) and its helps the town snowblower operator know when they've left the road. That's a particular peeve of mine. Every year I put a row of wooded sentries along my front lawn so that the town snowblower will know where the sidewalk ends and my property begins and every year there are casualties and sod damaged. Now that I think about it, the town has problems with every issue involving roads. They don't know how to build them, they don't know how to keep them clear and repaired and they don't believe in painting them until the fall - usually a few weeks before the plows come out to scrape off the water paint.