© Star file photo
Years of flooding issues for a group of Deer Lake residents are not going to end overnight, says Mayor Dean Ball.
That is the unfortunate reality for the residents fighting to put an end to the water, supposedly linked to the Deer Lake canal, flooding the homes along Elizabeth Avenue, Garden Road and Devon Road.
Ball said the town is committed to helping find a resolution.
The town continues to wait for documentation from Kruger — which owns Deer Lake Power and is responsible for the canal — pertaining to the weirs. Residents have suggested the water problems could be from leaking weirs or water seepage from the canal bottom. Ball said the town has been told there are no changes to water flow through the weirs.
“That leads us to believe there is no issues with the structure of the canal,” he said Friday.
The canal is about 30 feet deep at the weirs, and even deeper at the other side. The mayor is concerned with exploring what lies underneath the canal for leakage and digging ditches in the area. He said it could cause landslides or extreme flooding if tampered with.
“Who’s to say it won’t hurt the integrity of the canal?” he asked. “We all know what happened in Pasadena with the highway.”
Ball said he is comfortable with the town’s dealings with Kruger thus far.
“They have been more than cooperative with us,” he said. “They are just as encouraged to get a document to provide the residents some information so they can rest easy on.”
The mayor is encouraged the province is now going to have an engineer look at the situation. Between Kruger, the town and the province. He said things will progress in cooperation with the residents impacted.
“It may take two or three months to get a report back from the engineer,” said Ball.
Less than two weeks ago, spokespersons for the departments of Municipal Affairs and Environment and Conservation reported no plans to conduct an assessment.
However, the week after in the House of Assembly, acting Minister Terry French said the department had become more involved after being contacted by an area resident.
“It is something that I have asked staff to have a look at since I received that e-mail this morning,” French said in the House last week.
The minister said he has asked officials to work with Deer Lake Power to assess the canals.
A spokesperson for the department confirmed officials will participate in discussions, and work towards a solution. An engineer from the department is expected to visit the site again.