Edmonton

Restoration companies swamped by flood calls

Restoration companies have been swamped with calls from Edmonton homeowners whose basements were flooded after the weekend's heavy rainfall.
Homeowners are dealing with flooding caused by the weekend's heavy rainfall, the CBC's Kim Trynacity reports 2:09

Restoration companies have been swamped with calls from Edmonton homeowners whose basements were flooded after the weekend's heavy rainfall.

"Some improper sump pumps. Some non-functional. But a lot of them actually just couldn't keep up, there was so much rainfall coming in," said Aaron Deines from ServiceMaster.

"And when a sump pump either fails or does not have sufficient pumping volume the groundwater around the foundation of the home will overload the pump and it will start coming in through any deficiencies in the foundation and up through the sump hole."

Deines estimates ServiceMaster is dealing with 200 to 250 new files that have started over the last couple of days.

About 90 millimetres of rain fell on parts of Edmonton over the weekend, equal to the monthly average for all of June. Heavy rain caused water levels to rise on the North Saskatchewan River. Some roads and sports fields were also flooded.

Shelly Darragh is one of the homeowners who contacted ServiceMaster to deal with flood damage. The storm sewers on her street clogged during the weekend downpour, sending rainwater into her basement.

"It's a disaster," she said. "Everything that was in storage is going to be discarded, I guess. They said it's destroyed because once that water gets in, there's nothing you can do about it."

Shelly Darragh discovered flooding in her basement Monday morning. (CBC)
Darrah was not pleased with the city's response to the situation. She says no one would come and check her sewer or tell her if she could use her bathroom.

The city's director of drainage services, Leo Girard, says his department has taken 500 phone calls over the last couple of days and staff are doing their best to resolve complaints.

"Crews are going to keep going through and investigating these until all the phone calls have been addressed," he said.

According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, damage from large sudden rainfalls is usually covered, but it can vary from policy to policy.