‘It happened so quickly’: flooding rampant in Selkirk subdivison
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This article was published 25/04/2022 (340 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A Selkirk condo community has been left to pick up the pieces after flooding led to destruction over the weekend.
Matthew Prychun has been helping his 65-year-old mother and other residents of the 55+ complex at 320 Pearson Pkwy. in the Creekside subdivision since water started rising in the area Saturday.
“We’re not on the river, the condos all here were pretty much built in 2010, fairly high grade, so the chances of having water issues or sewer issues or backup, I don’t think that was on many people’s minds at all,” he told the Free Press by phone Monday.
But by Sunday, rainwater had overtaken a nearby creek — and residents were forced to pile up sandbags and batten down the hatches.
“The city had dropped off some sand and some empty bags and kind of said, ‘Here you go, have at it.’ I would have expected there would have been maybe more help from the city, maybe more help from the fire department,” Prychun said.
“I think everybody got really caught off-guard, it happened so quickly. And you got these 60-, 70-, 80-year-old people taking one sandbag at a time from the parking lot, carrying it around a foot or two of water and trying to protect their home.”
Prychun estimated as many as 50 people in the area had been affected by the flooding, and it had devastated many of the homes in the neighbourhood. He witnessed flooded patios, caved-in walls, and said most people are dealing with anywhere from one to three feet of water in their basement.
After constantly pumping water out of his mother’s home until 5:30 a.m. Monday, the “fun part” begins, Prychun said: ripping everything out and trying to mitigate the damage done.
“I feel for these people because these are retired people that are supposed to be in their golden years… I think some of these people here don’t have that type of insurance because it’s very expensive,” he said.
“And now what? Now you’re 75 years old and you’re going to spend $25,000 ripping out your basement and cutting out drywall? It’s horrible.”
Prychun said more could have been done by the city to mitigate the situation, which he believes was caused when water flowed into the area from other developments.
“I think that’s the frustration here: is this is not a sewer problem, this is not a backing up from the city,” he said. “This is all overland flooding that was being pumped into a man-made creek that should never have come here. Simply closing off a culvert and stopping the water flow would have prevented all of this.”
Marketing and communications co-ordinator for the City of Selkirk, Vanessa Figus, said the storm had exceeded the capacity of the drainage system in place.
“In the areas largely affected (Creekside), pumping operations took place throughout the weekend and continue to take place now to bring water levels down… At this time, all citizen requests have been fulfilled,” she said Monday in an email.
Malak Abas is a reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press.