The City of Corner Brook says the much-needed work to fix Killick Place is coming.
Jennifer Oates, who lives at the bottom of the gravel road in the Curling area, hopes the work is done before the next heavy downpour of rain.
The residents of Killick Place were in the news in late May, demanding the road and its undermined underground infrastructure be repaired before it got any worse. At the time, there were multiple sinkholes all along the short road and trenches dug by the flow of rainwater over it.
Last weekend, the house Oates shares with her boyfriend was the target of the accumulating water from some torrential showers. The water coursing down Killick Place veered towards their home and rose to just above the top of their foundation.
That led to approximately two inches of water seeping into the house. Some furniture stored in the basement got wet and had to be tossed out.
Oates doesn’t mind taking responsibility for the house, but believes she would not have had the problem if the city road was in better condition. Her biggest fear is further flooding could lead to problems with mold, mildew and the air quality in her house.
The coming weeks is usually the time of year when Corner Brook gets doused with rains from the tail ends of tropical storms and Oates is afraid the problem will only get worse if nothing is done in time.
“Any normal street in a city has proper storm sewer, the road is paved and they have drainage — we have none of that here," said Oates.
The unsightly sinkholes, marked by bright orange signposts and barriers placed by the city, seem to have been filled since May. However, the only filling in has been done by the latest runoff of rain bringing gravel from the top of the road down into the holes.
Killick Place looked more like a river than a road last weekend, according to Oates.
Oates said her boyfriend refuses to drive down Killick Place since he felt his truck slip into a hole about two months ago.
When it is repaired, it’s going to have to be a "big fix,” said Oates. She says she can can understand it not being a top priority, but it’s still a serious issue.
In May, the City of Corner Brook said it was going to look at the situation and see where it fit on the list of capital works projects. Wednesday, Mayor Charles Pender said the city’s engineering department is in the process of putting together a plan for Killick Place and work should commence there in three or four weeks.
He said the entire storm sewer system beneath the road, not to mention further down below the road, will have to be replaced. The mayor is not sure if the road may actually have to be realigned to ensure better drainage.
Killick Place may also come off the list of the city’s gravel roads, but Pender said paving and other amenities may not get done until next year.
Should heavy rains come before the work can get started this year, Pender suggested homeowners — especially any fearing they may be flooded — should notify the city’s customer service line. That way, they can ensure they are on a list of locations city crews should monitor and could request sandbags to help divert water.
If anything does start to happen on their properties, Pender said the homeowners should immediately notify the city.