A broken water main causes flooding on Hilchey Road in Campbell River on March 12, 2019. Photo by David Gordon Koch/Campbell River Mirror

UPDATED: Campbell River residents frustrated after broken water main floods homes twice

City workers shut down water service after water main failed Tuesday afternoon

Willow Point residents are expressing frustration after a broken water main flooded their homes for the second time in less than a year.

Donna Reist fought back tears as she waited for city workers to shut down the flow on Tuesday afternoon outside her home near the corner of Hilchey Road and Alder Street.

When the main broke last summer, she said, cleanup expenses were at least $500. She said the city didn’t provide any compensation.

“They can pay for it this time,” Reist said.

She noticed the broken main on Tuesday at around 2:50 or 3 p.m. just after finishing some yard work. Water covered her yard, and she said her crawl space was flooded.

Sheree Taylor said that Tuesday’s flooding caused significant damage to the Hilchey Road home she shares with her husband.

“All my new flooring is floating with two inches of water underneath,” she said.

The water main previously broke in early July last year, causing extensive damage and clogging perimeter drainage with silt, Taylor said as she wiped away tears.

She added that workers completed some of the restoration work from the previous flood just three hours before the main broke on Tuesday.

“Here we go again,” she said.

During the latest flood, she estimated there was about eight inches of water around her house before a city crew shut down the flow.

Taylor wants the city to replace the main and provide compensation.

“Hopefully the city’s going to pay this time,” she said.

On Wednesday, she said that restoration workers had torn out baseboards and removed water from the house.

Flooring and sections of drywall will also have to be removed, she said, adding that a claims adjuster surveyed the site and indicated that the damage was likely covered by insurance.

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City workers shut down the water flow at about 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday.

The City of Campbell River said around 4 p.m. in a Facebook post that about 10 homes were without water and that crews were working to restore service.

Taylor said water service resumed at 10 p.m.

Drew Hadfield, director of operations for the City of Campbell River, said it’s hard to predict when water mains will break.

He said the city does preventative maintenance and tracks the age and condition of pipes.

“We have no control when or if a line is going to break,” he said. “That’s something that’s determined by a number of factors that are out of our control because it’s all underground.”

Recent cold weather and frost may have contributed to damage on the main, he said.

The Mirror has reached out to city officials about whether residents will receive compensation or the main will be replaced. Watch our website for updates.

This article was updated on March 13.


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