Whether it’s a spring thaw or like this weekend’s heavy rain, the routine is the same in the community of Belle Ewart in Innisfil, flooded streets, even flooded homes.
Operations teams from the town have spent the weekend pumping water out of the affected areas and will continue to do so until roads are clear.
Update: thanks to efforts of the operations team, all flooding has been reduced on major roads & sidewalks. Work is focused on the following areas:— Town of Innisfil (@townofinnisfil) January 12, 2020
👉Buchanan St. & Tall Tree Ln., road closure in effect
👉Maple Rd. & 5th Line
👉25th Sideroad & Rose Lane
👉Sections of Ferrier Ave.
The rainfall was extreme for the month of January, though Mayor Lynn Dollin acknowledges there is and has been historic issues in Belle Ewart.
“We are working to find a solution and have hired a consulting firm,” says Dollin. “And there was a meeting about a month ago with residents.”
The mayor says the flooding is not an easy fix.
“If it was easy, we would would have done it years ago.”
Dollin says the town is committed to trying and alleviate the issues for residents in the area.
As the mayor pointed out, there is a history to the problem.
“The area is a floodplain. If there was no buildings in that area now, the rules of today around floodplains wouldn’t have allowed for any building in that area.”
Operation Teams working hard, the pumps are too, pumping water out of the affected areas. This is Maple and Belle Aire Beach Rd. A reminder to avoid flooded areas and roadways. Thank you for your patience. pic.twitter.com/cj7SqmZqzk— Town of Innisfil (@townofinnisfil) January 11, 2020
Dollin says the town has got historic problems because of what was a cottage area and is now a full time resident area, and there is just not enough places for the water to go.
There is a study that looks at rerouting the water into a manufactured or enlarged wet land area.
“It’s not something we are going to snap our fingers and fix. It’s going to take a lot of effort,work and money” says Dollin.
Finding solutions does not come cheap and the mayor says the town will need help from all levels of government.
There are other pockets of Innisfil that also experience flooding.
“When you are a lakeside community and particularly a situation where we were a cottage community now turned into a full residential community, it comes with its own issues.”
Dollin says the town is trying to check the boxes one at a time and deal with each one, as the municipality can, and find a solution.