Record storm floods 77 homes in Winnipeg

The thunderstorm that rolled through Winnipeg on Thursday night was one for the record books.
Thunderstorm that rolled through Winnipeg on Thursday night was one for the record books, the CBC's Marjorie Dowhos reports. 1:54

The thunderstorm that rolled through Winnipeg on Thursday night was one for the record books.

So much rain came down in such a short period of time the storm is being considered a one-in-100-year event, said Bill Watters, spokesman with the city’s Water and Waste Department.

The storm pounded parts of Winnipeg, flooding some businesses, homes and roads. It also overwhelmed the sewer system in some neighbourhoods, causing backups.

Rainfall amounts

In Winnipeg
North Linden Woods 74 millimetres
Near Grant Ave. and Laxdal Rd. (Charleswood) 69 mm
Just north of Wilkes Ave. near Elmhurst Rd. (Charleswood) 60 mm
Whyte Ridge 33 mm
Winnipeg airport 16 mm
South St. Vital 11 mm
The Forks 5 mm
Just outside Winnipeg  
St. Francois Xavier 74 mm
East St. Paul (inside Perimeter Highway) 1 mm

Watters said there were 30 cases of sewage back-up into basements and 47 other cases of flooding with clean water, bringing the total of flooded homes to 77.

Winnipegger Ratna Pandey was having supper when the storm hit. Not long after, she said she "found water flowing out of the toilet."

She said she was shocked by what was happening.

"My first thought was, ‘The kids’ toys and the pictures'!" she said. "All of this stuff is down there."

Winnipegger Karen Samson dealt with the same nightmare. Her basement flooded Thursday night.

Samson was out when it happened but rushed home when her daughter called, telling her there was rain pouring in through the windows.

"We were filling up garbage pails full of water. We probably had over 20," said Samson.

Rainfall amounts varied from 74 millimetres in North Linden Woods to just five millimetres at The Forks and only one millimetre near the northeast Perimeter Highway.

In Charleswood, where between 60 and 70 mm fell, some residents were seen paddling in a canoe near Cathcart Street while others were busy bailing out their window wells.

And they're not laughing at Rumors Comedy Club on Corydon Avenue in the Tuxedo area. The audience was settling in last night when the storm started and water began coming through the walls, said club owner Sheldon Mindell.

In 10 minutes the place was flooded, he said.

"It was a foot of water all the way through the club. At that time it was rushing in from two sections of the front entrance wall," Mindell said, adding that Friday's and Saturday's shows with Mike Winfield have been cancelled.

He hopes to re-open on Tuesday.

Over at Linden Christian School on Wilkes Avenue, just off of Waverley Street, water found its way through closed doors and poured down the stairs.

In the parking lot, the water was up to the top of the wheel wells of some cars.

A number of businesses were flooded, including the IKEA on Kenaston and the Superstore on Grant Avenue.

The city said its sewer system is now functioning properly, but the system was inundated Thursday night.

"You can always get a rainfall event that is going to exceed that standard, and when that happens, you’re going to have problems," said Watters.

City officials advised homeowners to contact their insurance companies to deal with the damage.