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Pasadena mayor thankful only three homes affected by unexpected flooding

This photo taken from a helicopter shows the area of the flooding and its proximity to the Trans-Canada Highway.
This photo, courtesy of the Town of Pasadena and taken from a helicopter, shows the area of the flooding and its proximity to the Trans-Canada Highway. - Submitted

Three households on Maple Place in Pasadena will be without power and the five residents affected by the unexpected flooding Saturday will be out of their homes until it’s safe to return.

Mayor Gary Bishop said he is glad there are only three homes on the small cull-de-sac.

When an ice jam blocked up South Brook and diverted its flowing water into the woods Saturday morning, the brook coursed its way through the woods and headed straight for Maple Place.

When water levels rose dangerously close to the electrical services of the three homes on the forested road, a decision was made to evacuate the people who lived there.

That meant five people had to be displaced as power was shut off to their flooding homes.

Rendered inaccessible by normal vehicles, the first plan was to rescue people by boat. However, the current of the floodwater — estimated by Bishop to have been as much as six or seven feet deep in places, was too strong for a boat to access the homes safely.

Instead, the residents were taken out in a loader.

“It was a bit tense at times, but everybody is safe and that’s the main thing,” Bishop said.

The residents all found accommodations with family or friends and none could be reached for an interview.

Bishop and some town staff surveyed the brook from the air in a helicopter Saturday afternoon. They identified a major ice jam on the meandering brook that weaves its way through the heart of Pasadena.

A plan was being worked on with officials from the provincial Fire and Emergency Services agency to try and right the river’s course back on its usual path towards emptying into Deer Lake.

On Sunday, Bishop said some ice has been removed and water levels in the brook went down, but it wasn’t to the extent that would allow power to be restored and those affected to go back home.

Bishop said a crew was working Sunday on building a berm with hopes to diverting the water away from Maple Place and getting power restored as quickly as possible.

“We need to block off that route that it created ... so that’s what they’re in the process of doing,” Bishop said.

He felt it would be days before the ice problem in the brook can be dealt with.

“We want to get people back in their homes as quick as possible, but we want to make sure we do it safely,” he said.

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