FLAT BAY BROOK — Year-round residents of Flat Bay Brook are concerned about their homes and being stranded because of flooding, like the type of high water they had on Tuesday.
Nora Glover said, with the high waters on Tuesday evening, she was stranded there and there was no way she could have gotten out.
She said her family already went through a flash flood at the location back in February of 1996. Her fear is that if something is not done, it will happen again.
Glover said she was in contact with the Department of Transportation and Works, who informed her that, since she lives on a Class 4 road, her family is on its own.
“This is ridiculous. When does it become more important to put your rules ahead of people’s lives?” she asked in reference to the department not sending in equipment to help.
“It shocks me that government doesn’t care.”
In addition to seven families living there full time, there are more than 100 cabins on the brook. Had it been a weekend when the water flooded over the road, Glover said there would have been a lot more people stuck there.
While Newfoundland Power has a powerhouse near the dam on Bottom Brook, up the road from where homes are located, Glover said Newfoundland Power only uses the road from time to time, and doesn’t provide any snow clearing.
Jerome Renouf, Glover’s son-in-law, said he handles most of the snowclearing for those who live there full time, while the cabin owners have their own association that gets the snowclearing done beyond that.
Without a fairly high pickup truck, drivers Wednesday wouldn’t be able to get out due to too much water and ice on the road between two bridges located there.
“You don’t go to bed and sleep on nights like last night, especially when you’re hearing the ice crack,” Glover said.
The ice conditions are similar to 1996 when flash flooding on the brook took out a number of cabins, washing some downstream along with a young man who was in a cabin. The man eventually drowned.
Elaine O’Quinn, who lives at an area of Flat Bay Brook known as Path End — downstream from Glover — said the ice is blocked on a turn past her place and below a location known as Farm Pool.
Renouf estimates that the water level is about five feet high, and where the bridges are it was a lot higher than that. He fears for the cabins downstream on the other side of the brook where cabins were destroyed in the 1996 flooding.
“Government is ignoring us and it’s all about the almighty dollar,” he said.
Glover said the provincial government doesn’t seem to want people living along rivers and brooks, yet they still sell Crown Land in these locations. She said there was 10 to 12 new places that went up along Flat Bay Brook this past year.
She said she has no intentions of moving and, if her house gets flooded, the family will build back further into the woods on higher ground.
Renouf said he has been at the location since 1992 and that no brook is going to move him out of it.