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City warns of increased basement flooding risk

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Residents should be aware about an increased risk of their basements flooding, due to high river levels and a forecast calling for rain this weekend, the city said in a press release Friday.

The Red River at James Avenue is expected to rise to between 14 and 15 feet James by Tuesday or Wednesday next week, the release says.  "Feet James" is a measurement based on winter-ice levels at James Avenue; the normal summer water level at James Avenue is approximately 6.5 feet James.

Although flooding is a risk all throughout the year, when the river levels get higher the sewer system has to rely on pumping stations, instead of gravity, the release states. That means the risk of flooding increases.

There are three steps residents can take to reduce the risk of sewer backup. They can "install a backwater valve and sump pit drainage system," maintain that valve and system regularly, and improve drainage around the house.

More information about how to improve drainage can be found here.

Installing a backwater valve or sump pit drainage system can be subsidized by the city, the release stated.

The city also is reminding people "it is illegal to drain sump pump water into the basement floor drain or any other part of the house plumbing system."

"It can overtax the sewer system placing (the) basement and those of their neighbours at risk of flooding and damage," the release says.

 

History

Updated on Friday, June 20, 2014 at 5:49 PM CDT: Corrects reference to river level rising.

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