Report says developer to blame for Rockwood flash flood
Published Tuesday, January 22, 2013 5:48PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 22, 2013 6:41PM EST
Officials in Guelph-Eramosa Township say they’ve concluded developer Charleston Homes is to blame for a flash flood that tore through eight Rockwood homes earlier this month.
On Jan. 13, a water storage pond suddenly burst its walls, sending water and mud gushing onto Harris Street and into nearby homes. One family was temporarily forced out of their home entirely.
Nine days later, residents are frustrated as repairs have been put on hold while engineers investigate who is responsible for the damage.
Michael Frechette lives in one of the affected homes. He says the damage bothers him, but not as much as the uncertainty over who will pay for repairs.
“For the last few days, I was wondering if anybody was going to man up for this and take responsibility or if I was going to pay for this out of my own pocket,” Frechette tells CTV.
Township officials are placing the blame squarely on Charleston Homes and their creation of an overflow pound.
“The new pond, it’s a temporary pond. It was put in there temporarily to handle the overflow. It breached our pond, that pond went into the second temporary pond, and that eventually broke because it wasn’t pumped properly,” says Guelph-Eramosa Mayor Chris White.
“That’s what caused the flooding.”
White also says the developer never got proper approval for the temporary pond, putting it in without running all the details past the township.
Representatives from Charleston Homes say they’re waiting for an MTO permit to install a large pipe to drain the pond.
That might be a month or two away, and the mayor says the sooner, the better.
“The sooner they can get that pipe in, the sooner they can get that fix in,” White says.
“Hopefully the issue will be resolved long-term.”
In the short term, the mayor says the eight damaged homes will be fixed soon no matter what roadblocks are thrown up.
“If they disagree with this position at this point, and they might, then we’re going to do it. We’ll send crews in and keep the receipts, and then we’ll pass them to the developer when this thing is settled,” he says.
A report prepared by township engineers was presented to Guelph-Eramosa councillors Monady night in a closed meeting. The report will be presented to the public in February.
Charleston Homes says they have their own engineers looking into the cause of the flood.