Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Laxdal Rd. homes either dry or too wet

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A city worker probes for a manhole cover buried in snow on Laxdal Road.

PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

A city worker probes for a manhole cover buried in snow on Laxdal Road. Photo Store

Homeowners on a Charleswood street are logging their seventh day without water.

And while the series of water-main breaks has left two dozen homeowners high and dry, others on a two-block stretch of Laxdal Road have had their basements flooded with almost a metre of water.

Craig Taylor said the water from a broken outside pipe began seeping into his home Dec. 30, forcing him to scramble to buy a water pump and find friends who also had pumps they could rush over.

"We received eight inches of water downstairs," Taylor said Friday.

"We had overland water last year, the same day when IKEA flooded, so everything downstairs was torn out. On Monday, we were working on the basement earlier that day before the water began coming in. We were able to get all the water out by midnight.

"But my neighbour has 36 inches of water in his fully finished and furnished basement. It also took out the furnace. They have been ordered out of their house."

Taylor said he hopes the city can get the pipes fixed to get the water flowing soon so his family can return home.

"Then we'll start putting our basement back together."

The city blocked traffic on two blocks of Laxdal Road and rerouted Transit buses.

Several City of Winnipeg vehicles and heavy equipment were at the site Friday, along with private plumbers.

A large crater, about eight metres long, was excavated beside the street where the latest water-main break occurred. Crews were busy pumping water from the hole into nearby ditches.

City spokeswoman Alissa Clark said the first water-main leak occurred Dec. 29.

Clark said when city crews went to fix it, the pipe began leaking in other spots.

"This does happen from time to time, where a pipe is in a condition such that the flow from the initial break causes multiple leaks in the pipe," she said.

"Crews are working to repair the ninth leak in this section of water main."

Clark said homeowners can file a claim with the city for damages, but under the City of Winnipeg Charter, the city is not liable for any loss or damage caused by a water-main break unless it was caused by negligence from either the city or its employees.

Jody Kardash said she was away on vacation when the first breakage occurred, but returned home when she heard the water was back on two days ago, just in time for the water to go out again. It hasn't been on since.

"I have a dehumidifier on my furnace so I collect that water to use in the toilet," Kardash said.

"I use buckets to get water from (the city's mobile receptacle). You just have to keep your fingers crossed for when the water will be back on.

"I feel sorry for people with little kids and others who are seniors."

Patricia Gervai was going to have friends over for dinner this weekend, but with no water, she has been forced to cancel those plans.

"I hope the water comes on soon -- the dirty clothes are getting higher," Gervai said.

"But we've had it easy. We haven't had much water in our basement and they had it worse in Toronto."

kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 4, 2014 A8

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