‘It’s a fool’s errand’: Winnipeggers left pumping water after latest rainfall hit the city

The latest rainstorm to hit Winnipeg came fast and furious Thursday.

According to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), 42mm of rain pounded the city in about an hour’s time.

Charleswood resident Shannon Morley told CTV News it came down in buckets at her home near Varsity View Community Centre.

“It was raining really, really hard,” Morley recalled. “There was a lot of rain in the ditches, but I didn’t expect that within an hour my basement would be flooding.”

Morley said the egress windows on one side of her house filled up with rainwater before it began spilling into her home. Morley said she’s made upgrades to the basement since buying the home in 2015 including egress windows, but they were no match for Mother Nature.

“I’ve done everything I possibly can to avoid any damage from the water.”

She said the water quickly filled up the three ditches surrounding her home and left the yard in ruins.

Over the past few years, she’s spent money building up the yard to prevent erosion, but said, when the water starts flowing, it’s nearly futile. Her garage has also sustained an ongoing barrage of water damage.

“I don’t want this anymore. This is ridiculous. My garage is completely totalled. It’s a teardown,” Morley said. “I don’t know if insurance is even going to cover that. Like it’s really kind of sad, like it’s a little bit (of a) hopeless feeling.

“It’s an expensive endeavour and I’m wondering if it’s a fool’s errand to continue,” Morley said.

She estimates the latest damage to her basement, including ruined rugs and a waterlogged mattress, will set her back a few thousand dollars.

Across the Assiniboine River in St. James, homeowner Nancy Beverley has been in a non-stop battle this year – pitting her and a trusty shop vacuum against relentless water pooling in her basement.

“I don’t know if it’s helping,” Beverley told CTV News. “It just comes back anyway.”

Beverley’s problem grew Thursday afternoon following the thunderous storm. When she went down into the basement, she saw puddles of waters accumulating on the floor and near the furnace. She said she’s starting to feel defeated.

“I’m just trying to prevent water sitting for too long,” Beverley said. “I don’t know if it’s helping or not, but just so that it doesn’t start to smell.”

Thursday’s storm continued the city’s soggy start to July. ECCC said Winnipeg received between 32mm and 40mm of rain on Monday and Tuesday. This comes after about 103mm of rain fell on the city during the month of June.

“I mean, there’s nothing we can do, right? The weather’s the weather,” Beverley said.

Homeowners aren’t the only ones fed up with Mother Nature’s persistent pouring.

Tuxedo Golf Club’s Pat Burns said the course’s rain gauge filled up with about 32mm of water during Thursday’s storm.

“That rain yesterday definitely cost us the weekend,” Burns said. “It’s going to keep us closed for a couple more days.”

Burns said it’s the latest setback in what he called a dismal and very disappointing golf season. He estimates the club lost about 40 per cent of May and June to poor conditions.

“Our golf course superintendent has been here for 27 years and it’s the worst he’s ever seen it,” Burns explained.

He said Tuxedo Golf Club is hoping for a break in the weather – to get the golf season back on track.

“We’re pumping, trying to get back on our [grass] cutting schedules as soon as we can, and always hope those sunny warm weeks are still ahead of us. We’re not going to quit here.” 

– With files from Danton Unger

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