New Brunswick

Doaktown homeowners say road water runoff destroying home

Ten years is too long to have water running from the road into a basement, say homeowners in Doaktown.

Homeowners say water has flowed into their basement for 10 years because of lack of ditch

Elaine Porter says she's beyond frustrated because her family home has mould, mildew and thousands of dollars worth of damage due to water damage. (Shane Fowler/CBC)

Ten years is too long to have water running from the road into a basement, say the owners of a Doaktown home.

That's how long Elaine and Donald Porter say rainwater and snowmelt have raced off Meadow Street South and into their yard and home. 

Now they say the water coming off the roadway that lacks a ditch has taken its toll, leaving sections of their foundation rotten and useless. 

Donald and Elaine Porter say a corner of their home's foundation has rotted away due to water runoff from their street (Shane Fowler/CBC)
"We could smell mildew in our house," said Elaine Porter, who has lived in the home for the last decade.

"So my husband decided to take this [vinyl siding] off and that's when we found the mildew and the rot and now we're stuck with this." 

Black, soggy, wood crumbles softly in Porter's hands as she points out the portions of her home's foundation that have spent seasons underwater.

The family blames the runoff for the thousands of dollars worth of damage. 

"Last year they were supposed to fix the road and they never did," said Porter. 

The Porters say every time it has rained for the last 10 years water from the road eats away at their home. (Submitted: Elaine Porter)
"They've promised to fix the road and they've never fixed it."

Donald Porter said their son was using three inhalers when he lived in the house.

"Now that he's moved he doesn't use any and I think it's because of this mould and this mildew," Porter said.

An estimate to fix the damage commissioned by the Porters states repairs will likely cost close to $10,000.

It recommends the "roadway ditched and water directed away from the home." 

Portions of the Porter home are rotting away due to the water flow over the years. (Shane Fowler/CBC)
The Porters say they worry a section of their home could be in danger of collapsing if the water continues to flow.

Doaktown Mayor Beverly Gaston admits the ditching of Meadow Street South is an issue that previous councils failed to fix and says the village is working on a solution.
Gaston said the village has engineers working on the problem. 

"We have every intention of getting as much as we can get down before winter, for sure," he said.

"We have to find a way to do it properly because when we fix it we want to fix it right."


Shane Fowler


Shane Fowler has been a CBC journalist based in Fredericton since 2013.