Homeowner says 9 days for city to respond to flooded back lane unacceptable

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Homeowner says 9 days for city to respond to flooded back lane unacceptable

An Elmwood resident says a blocked sewer drain in her back lane has flooded her garage and the city initially told her it could take up to nine business days to come clear it.

"Nine business days, add on weekends, that's unacceptable for this amount of water," said Christy Settee.

The water began pooling Thursday evening, Settee said. She and her husband checked a manhole in the back lane to make sure it wasn't blocked by snow, and it wasn't.

"By my understanding, it means that there is a blockage further down and the only way that it can be fixed is if the city comes and uses steam to unblock it," she said.

Her husband sent an email to the city that night to let them know the drain needed to be cleared.

But by about 11 a.m. Friday, the water had risen several inches and reached the back wall of the garage. Settee called 311 to try and get a crew to come out immediately.

"They told me up to nine business days," she said.

"I'm like, 'that wouldn't work, it could be flooding our house [by then],'" she said.

She estimates the middle of the back lane got to about two feet deep. Her husband walked out as far as he could but the water was at the top of his rubber boots before he made it to the deepest point.

"Every time a car comes back here it's like a tidal wave that comes into our garage," said Settee.

After CBC News left Settee's home and asked the city why it could take up to nine days to clear the drain, a crew showed up Friday afternoon to clear it.

The city said they have received 152 service requests for frozen catch basins since Thursday. Crews were busy thawing them on Friday.

"While nine businesses days is the timeframe that 311 would give to a citizen making a report, any reports that involve flooding of private property receive a higher priority for attention," a spokesperson for the city said in an email.

Settee said in addition to contacting media, she also tried calling her city councillor, Jason Schreyer (Elmwood-East Kildonan), and left a voicemail.

"I'm not trying to say woe is me, I'm a take action kind of person. So, besides moving the stuff out I'm trying to find the quickest way [to get it fixed]," she said.

"Unfortunately sometimes that requires publicity or posting it to social media."

Settee hopes the water will recede before temperatures dip down to –12 C tonight.

"It's gonna become a skating rink."