Natural Resources


Date: February 11, 2012

Location: St. John's



Latitude: 47° 34' 00" N

Longitude: 52° 44' 00" W

Fatalities: 0

Injuries: 0

Source: CBC news website, February 13, 2012

A weekend downpour in St. John's has kept city crews busy with scores of calls related to flooding and washed-out roads. More than 70 mm of rain fell on the St. John's area Sunday and early Monday, causing rivers and streams to swell, basements to flood and city infrastructure to groan with the runoff.

The flooding was compounded by warm temperatures that melted tonnes of snow, and high winds that in some places brought down branches and power lines.

"We've had a pretty wild ride over the weekend, weather-wise, with the heavy rains and the winds and everything combined," Paul Mackey, the director of public works with the City of St. John's, said Monday. "[There's been] a lot of activity going on yesterday and overnight and continuing this morning.

The city fielded 238 calls for service on Sunday alone. On a typical Sunday, Mackey said, the city receives about 30 to 40 calls. Mackey said the majority of calls were related to washed-out shoulders in the city's Kilbride and Goulds neighbourhoods. "We've got a lot of reinstatement to do, and we're going to be working on that for the next several days, no doubt," Mackey said.

The flooding also meant tense hours for scores of homeowners who tried to pump water out of their houses. Wayne King, who has lived on Hoyles Avenue for the last 52 years, said flooding has been a recurring issue in his neighbourhood in central St. John's since the 1970s. King said flooding issues date back to the covering of Kelly's Brook decades ago, when the Avalon Mall was built. He said while problems were resolved near the mall and downstream, his neighbourhood still floods during heavy rainfalls. The City of St. John's has earmarked millions of dollars for sewer upgrades in its capital budget, and Hoyles Avenue is on the list. The flooding also opened up a number of large potholes on city streets.

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