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2012-05-28 at 11:18

Under water: East End homeowners dealing with water-filled basements

By Jamie Smith,
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The East End was a flurry of activity Monday morning as basements throughout the neighbourhood were filled with water from the nearby sewage treatment plant.

Harold Hasher has lived on McLeod Street for 27 years. He woke up at 3 a.m. to the sound of his dryer going off. When he went down to the basement, he saw water rushing up from the shower drain and toilet.

“Within minutes I was standing in a foot of water,” Hasher said standing on his front lawn as fire and hydro crews worked throughout the neighbourhood. “It came up really fast.”

Power has been cut off to Hasher’s home as the sewage water in his basement crept past three feet and continued to rise. Hasher said he’s lost everything from furniture to home theatre equipment to family photographs because of the damage. Like others, he’s been told to sit upstairs and wait.

“We’re at a loss like everyone else in the neighbourhood. We don’t know what else to do, just sit and wait,” he said. “We’re upset. We don’t know what to do we don’t know where to turn to next.”

It was the same throughout streets all over the East End. One man, who has lived in his home since 1963, was visibly upset as water was pumped from his basement. With the power to his home shut off, the man said he doesn’t know what to do.

“What am I supposed to eat, the stars?” The man who didn’t want to be named asked.

The Atlantic Avenue sewage treatment plant typically has up to 60 mega litres per day running through it. By 2 a.m. Monday, the water running through it had reached capacity and caused the main sewage pumps to fail, flooding the plant.

“The meters had actually gone off scale so we were somewhere between 670 mega litres per day but probably closer to 750,” city infrastructure and operations manager Darrell Matson said.


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Vampire1223 says:
Holy crap good thing I wasn't in the area at the time.
5/28/2012 12:04:54 PM
Johnny says:
no1 cares about u... they care about the people affected by this, weak comment
5/28/2012 3:28:57 PM
combatwombat says:
good point , is it or isnt it?
when facing the backed up sewers, the churches in the east end were discussing that very topic.
5/29/2012 1:26:13 PM
compgah says:
Vibrant road this morning

5/28/2012 12:17:51 PM
cob says:
Vibert Road?????
5/28/2012 2:29:43 PM
DougMyers says:
Umm, that looks like Vibert Road where it come up to Arthur St.

Where is Vibrant Rd?
5/28/2012 2:35:23 PM
compgah says:
Athur St. & Vibrant Road

5/28/2012 12:21:05 PM
cob says:
How about some answers to these questions?

Is the failure due to an inability to keep up with the amount of water flowing into the plant?

Is the failure due to a control or electrical problem?

Are the main pump motors flooded? If so, is there a contingency plan in effect to bypass by pumping to the Floodway?

How long is the emergency expected to last?

5/28/2012 12:36:09 PM
LeeBee says:
What failure? This is a natural disaster. Very unfortunate, but you can't predict anything about a natural disaster. Thunder bay wasn't built to fight off these disasters, because we are not a disaster zone. I have friends and family who are losing their houses right now, I am so sad for them, but they aren't complaining half as much as everyone else. They get that this is uncontrolable and that's what insurance is for. Someone mad a comment earlier about living in muskeg areas and what not, and that this should be expected. Not everyone has a choice of living on the perfect land, have some pity and lend a helping hand instead of unnessessary comments about where one choses to live.
5/28/2012 2:38:15 PM
advocate says:
This is exactly it. it is a natural disaster. It is also one that was mitigated. The city built a floodway years ago which has made sure that this happens a lot less frequently. Even with that, if that floodway was not here, this would have been a million times worse.

The capacity at the sewage plant is 11x more than daily average. However, we apparently received 13x more.

You can't stop everything.
5/28/2012 3:18:59 PM
Johnny says:
you are no better with your comment toughguy...
5/28/2012 3:25:25 PM
advocate says:
What did he/she actually say that was wrong?
5/28/2012 5:29:40 PM
silent rebel says:
thumbs down to your as well....
5/28/2012 10:52:36 PM
nvjgu says:
Oh my they don't know what to do, sorry to here it. Sounds like nobody's ready for a disaster.
5/28/2012 3:07:44 PM
yoyoma says:
I would request the MNR fire base to assist with some of their pumps and hoses, help pump out some of these homes for these poor people
5/28/2012 4:09:52 PM
greendreamer says:
Having been through this before, it wasn't nice then and it really sucks now. Hopefully no gets seriously injured or killed because of al this. Material possessions can be replaced..your loved ones can't. I suppose we'll now find out just how "good" our insurance companies are?
5/29/2012 8:53:43 AM
tbaygal2 says:
I really feel for all these people, this happened to us 4 years ago. My advice to you is to call your " House insurance " depending on what coverage you have, some or all costs of restoration services will be looked after, It's all done very professional.

For those who need help with food i suggest you try the city food banks, for myself i will be making a donation this week, i hope more people will follow suit.
Neighbours helping neighbours.

Good luck to everyone.
5/29/2012 12:45:29 PM
sherbare says:
Sitting today with a flooded basement in this disaster! Called insurance company...not so easy to confirm coverage thats for sure. They say we have to prove the water came in thru the sewer and have to HIRE a contractor to confirm that. They don't cover seepage...only if it's sewer. If they send contractor to confirm and he/she doesn't...I'm stuck with the contractor bill PLUS the loss of everything. I wish everyone good luck in finding yourself a good contractor! This just adds insult to injury!
5/29/2012 2:15:29 PM
unionbay880 says:
Ewwwww, it's more than water flooding the basements if it came from the sewage plant. Suck it up thunder Bay it's not that bad!
5/29/2012 3:53:48 PM
Few people look closely at their insurance policy.
if the city sewer backed up then its a city insurance issue.
Its a bit muddy after that. As a homeowner you should protect yourself by knowing your sump pump/ weeping tile works. Some times you cannot know ..UNTIL the big storm. Then one has to hope youve looked at you flooding policy CLOSELY before this happened.
If your pump was kaput, or you had no pump, insurance is going to say its your fault.
I know alot of people who found out the hard way when they THOUGHT there pump was fine but it was shot.
I Feel for those that protected themsleves but got flooded out even with all angles covered this was an 80 year storm event,some systems could not keep up.
Hydrostatic pressure 7 feet down at a footing is immense, water will trickle through the snmallest crack.
5/30/2012 12:56:48 PM
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