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.