By Kevin Werner, News Staff
Glanbrook councillor Brenda Johnson was so angered by what she saw walking around her ward after the record rainfall Jan 13, which produced flooding across Mount Hope and Winona, that she questioned the city’s new residential development strategy.
“I was so frustrated yesterday,” said Johnson, during a Jan. 14 government issues committee meeting. “With wet feet, I was touring the area and I was questioning the development. I’m not here to deter development, but I want to make sure it doesn’t contribute to it.”
She said there were 15 areas in Binbrook, and Mount Hopewhere new residential homes are being constructed up against established homes, are now experiencing flooding issues. Some of those homeowners suffered thorough severe flooding problems in July during a concentrated rain fall that resulted in 160 people complaining to the city.
She saw some of the same homeowners have more flooding issues. In addition, there were homeowners along McNeilly Road who had to deal with problem flooding.
“There are brand new homes that have never been flooded before,” she said. “We have got to look at this.”
While city officials trumpetedHamilton’s record-breaking building permit results of $1.5 billion for 2012, passing the 2010 record of $1.06 billion, Stoney Creek councillors were focused on the new developments in their areas as partly responsible for the flooding issues.
Stoney Creek councillor Brad Clark saidGreenAcreParkflooded out the surrounding area, the first time that has happened. He said along Upper Stoney Creek 5,000 homes are being built, putting even more pressure on where the water will be going in the surrounding area and in lower Stoney Creek.
“I have seen brand new developments that shouldn’t have flooding,” said Clark.
Since September,Clarksaid there have been flooding problems along such roads as Foxmeadow Dr., Highland Road, Highgate, Candlewood Dr., Hillcroft Dr., Highbury, Byron, Leckie Av.,Springarden Cres., and Fairhaven Dr.
“We are seeing new flooding,” he said.
Ward 10 councillor Maria Pearson said after the Sunday rainfall there was flooding in existing neighbourhoods in her area, especially areas that have recently see new homes built.
“There has been no rhyme or reason to this flooding,” she said.
Johnson asked city staff to inform her what she should tell her homeowners who have been flooded out of their homes.
“I received an email from a person who been living in his house for eight months, and this is the second time they have had flooding,” said Johnson.
Tony Sergi, senior director, growth management, said the city’s development standards should be “helpful” to prevent flooding. But if residents experience multiply flooding incidents, “we should look at it,” he acknowledged.
Clark and Johnson introduce a motion at the Jan. 15 planning committee meeting to have staff peer review the designs of three storm water ponds in the hardest hit areas.
“We want to make sure things are what they say they are,” said Johnson.
Hamiltonreceived about 44 mms of rain Jan. 13, a new record, breaking the one set in 11.4 mm in 1979, stated EnviornmentCanada. The rain fell from Saturday and Sunday, and it combined with a record high temperatures. Again, Hamilton’s 13.3 Celsius broke old record of 12.1 degrees in 1995. The heavy rains, plus the high temperatures contributed to flooding across the Mountain including at Mohawk Road and Upper Ottawa Road, where the catch basins were blocked, and in the Rosedale neighbourhood.
In July, the city received about 160 residents complaining about flooding issues after 66 mm or rain fell in a severe rain storm that hit only specific areas around the Hamilton, and Grimsby areas.
Councillors late last year re-funded the city’s protecting plumbing program which provides homeowners about $2,000 to install sewage backflow valves or sump pumps to prevent flooding issue.