June 27, 2013 - 12:43 PM
UPDATE: 12:23 p.m. June 27, 2013
PENTICTON - Penticton's storm sewer system wasn't built to handle the short burst of heavy rain that flooded parts of Wilson Street and Arnott Place on Wednesday.
Only eight millimetres of rain fell, according to Environment Canada, but it all seemed to come at once. Public works manager Len Robson said the system was not designed for Wednesday's storm.
"In my 20 years here that is one of the most intensive storms I've seen," he said. Robson said Penticton's drainage systems are designed for a desert climate.
The city's sewer system collected the rain from all parts including the higher areas. It all flowed down to the lower parts of the city including the sewer system running beneath Wilson Street and Arnott Place. With nowhere to go, the rain pooled on the roads at the low points and then ran onto properties. Residents had to wait for the water to drain out of three storm sewer system outlets before they saw the water level drop.
As soon as the rain stopped, residents waded barefoot across Wilson Street in calf-deep water, people brought sump pumps to their neighbours and a few others cleared leaves and bits of debris from storm grates that were underwater.
City staff brought sump pumps to move water away from homes and out onto the road where it was slowly going down the drain.
Poppy Degeorgio's carport was full of water as soon as it started raining. The Arnott Place resident has a driveway which slopes towards her home. Many of the properties have similar driveways. She said her place was flooded within 10 minutes. "Water was coming into everything."
Pereira Sumi's basement was spared at his Arnott Place home. He built a low concrete wall which stopped the water from flowing into his house but the same could not be said for his garden and backyard.
A family at 3036 Wilson Ave. were outside their home watching the water drain from their carport and basement. A young man said he pulled his car out onto the street where the water was not as deep.
To contact a reporter for this story, to send photos or videos, email Shannon Quesnel at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 250-488-3065 or tweet @shannonquesnel1
This story was edited at 12:23 p.m. June 27, 2013, to include comments from city public works manager Len Robson.
Heavy rain results in flooding in Penticton
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013