Rothesay resident blames poor town planning for flooding

Dawna Moore says her Rothesay home was flooded in late September by runoff water from nearby retail developments, and the town is doing little to correct the problem.

Mayor Bill Bishop says most homes flooded Sept. 30 because they had inadequate drainage systems

Dobbin Street resident Dawna Moore estimates flooding from heavy rain on Sept. 30 caused $50,000 in damage to her basement. (Connell Smith/CBC)

Dawna Moore says her Rothesay home was flooded in late September by runoff water from nearby retail developments and the town is doing little to correct the problem.

Moore and her husband bought their Dobbin Street home in 1976. There had never been water in the basement until the Sept. 30 rainstorm.

Today, the basement is still awaiting renovation. The drywall has been cut off about two feet up from the floor. Flooring, appliances, furniture and other items have been removed — much of it to the landfill.

You keep trying to find out, what's the culprit? What changed over the years?- Dawna Moore, flooding victim

Reflecting back on that September night Moore says, "You keep trying to find out, what's the culprit? What changed over the years?"

The answer, she said she believes, is a nearby restaurant and a large retail plaza built behind her home.

Both have extensive parking areas. She said she believes the town did not properly manage drainage from those properties when it gave approval.

Moore also claims the flow from a drainage ditch behind homes along the street has been impeded by the development.

The home was one of a handful on the street that had flooded basements during the Sept. 30 storm in which some areas of southern New Brunswick received 160 millimetres of rain.

Moore says water was gushing up through storm drains on nearby streets.

"If they don't have the capacity to get rid of what they already have, and now they're entertaining more commercial development," said Moore.

"Where does that water eventually run to? It's got to keep coming downhill."

She estimates the damage to her home and contents at $50,000 and expects insurance to pick up only half the total.

Ruined basement

Next door, Lisa Redstone had a very similar experience.

Rothesay Mayor Bill Bishop said the town will look into the flooding problems on Dobbin Street.
She says she was awakened that day to find her cats crying in the basement. They were unwilling to jump down into five inches of water to make their way upstairs.

Her finished basement is also torn apart.

"They had to rip all of the flooring out, all of the tiles out. The new radiators had to go, the new floorboards had to go. Everything I've done down there basically has been ruined."

Rothesay Mayor Bill Bishop promises to look into issues raised on Dobbin Street, but says in many cases those who experienced water problems during the storm have homes with inadequate drainage systems.

"In most cases that we've investigated, the town is not at fault, it's not a flooding problem," said Bishop.

"It's a big rain and the system around the house is not adequate to look after it."

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