A row of townhouses ended up with flooded basements after Penticton’s storm water system became plugged with mud and debris Saturday. (City of Penticton photo)

Update: Blocked storm sewers back in service

Water filled yards and basements in Columbia Street area

After four days and nights of work, the City of Penticton said storm sewers in the Columbia Street area should be back in service Tuesday afternoon.

At least four homes were flooded when mud and debris plugged Penticton’s storm water system Saturday. Public works manager Len Robson said the problem began along the top of Carmi Road, near Sendero Canyon.

“The water is coming out of the banks up there in various locations,” said Robson. “It eroded the silts and gravels as it was chewing out the bank.”

The water, along with the mud and debris it was carrying, eventually made it’s way into the storm water system. and plugged the storm sewer in the Columbia Street and Duncan Avenue area.

Penticton public works crews worked through the Saturday night and Sunday morning dealing with the flooding situation, work which continued into the week.

Robson said crews got the water diverted from above Saturday to lessen the mud and debris and cleared the storm sewer enough to get the water flowing. Sunday, they got larger equipment in to begin the task of clearing the plugged storm lines, working from the bottom up.

Once the storm sewers are clear, Robson said they will continue to monitor until the snow melt in the lower hill areas start to dry up a bit.

“There’s a lot more snow in the mountains this year. We are seeing a lot more water in a lot more places than we have seen before,” said Robson.

As a preventative measure, the city will review the source and cause of the blockage with the goal of determining the feasibility of a long-term solution.

The water cut a path Saturday to a low point, which was a row of four townhouses according to Peter Weeber, Penticton’s chief administrative officer

“The area is completely saturated. Any new rain will add to the challenges,” said Weeber Sunday, adding that the basements of the townhouses were flooded and the property management company was also on site making arrangements to deal with the water.

Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
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