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Clogged catch basins contributing to localized flooding (update)

Conditions are particularly bad on Susie Lake Crescent in Bayers Lake
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mission mart-flooding
Flooding on Susie Lake Crescent on Jan. 9, 2019 (Photo courtesy of Michelle Porter @MissionMusings/Twitter)

It's a messy day in Halifax as a low pressure system brought snow overnight, followed by heavy rain.

That has resulted in water pooling on area roadways.

Conditions are particularly bad on Susie Lake Cres. in Bayers Lake, where the Mission Mart thrift store has been forced to close Wednesday because the road in impassable.

A photo tweeted by co-founder and CEO Michelle Porter shows a truck and car sitting in floodwaters that reach almost to the top of their tires.

"The small car has been stuck there for a couple hours now," she said in the social media post.

Other problem spots include Larry Uteck Dr., Prince Albert Rd. in Dartmouth, along the Bedford Highway and in Clayton Park's Parkland Dr., where tow trucks have been spotted removing vehicles.

Flooding is also being reported near the MacKay Bridge and Halifax Transit tweeted at around 2:45 p.m. that they've had to detour some routes.

Clogged catch basins are contributing to the problem as heavy slush and debris block water from draining.

Halifax Regional Municipality spokesperson Erin DiCarlo said crews were sent out ahead of the storm to clear drains in known problem spots to reduce the likelihood of flooding.

"Sometimes it is unavoidable with the weather," she said. "We are continuing to monitor and address these areas as the storm continues. We've dispatched additional labour crews and equipment in order to address that."

Spokesperson for Halifax Water, James Campbell said, although it's officially HRM's responsibility to clear grates, their crews have been helping out.

"The reality is we had some snow overnight and there would have been some catch basins that would have been blocked from the previous snow and freezing event," he explained. "Now we're getting quite a bit of rain and that's going to compound the problem."

He said residents can help out, if they feel it is safe to do so, by clearing storm drains in their neighbourhoods.

"So the rain and snow that's melting can get into the catch basin," he said. "If it can't get into the catch basin, if it's blocked by snow or other debris and can't physically get there, that certainly contributes to flooding."

Campbell said those who can't clear a clogged sewer that is causing flooding on their street should call 311.

"If the grate is clear and the water is flowing to it, and there's still flooding in the area, they should call our customer service number at 902-420-9287."

An interactive map of catch basin locations in HRM can be found online.

Darcy MacBain is Nova Scotia Department of Transportation's area manager for Halifax suburban.

He said water pooling was an issue on the morning commute on the 100-series highway in HRM, but they appear to be in good shape for the drive home.

However, he recommends drivers turn on headlights and reduce their speed.

"People need to be aware that the snowbanks on the side sometimes hold the water on the road when it's raining hard and cover up our catch basins. We need to be extremely diligent that we watch what's in front of us and be careful," he said.

MacBain added the department will also be closely watching conditions this evening as the temperature drops.

"Our supervisors and crews will be monitoring and patrolling the roads. If they start to freeze up, we'll be salting again."

Although many main routes are clear, slippery conditions are still being reported on sideroads throughout HRM.




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Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana & lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the community editor for HalifaxToday.ca.
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