A broken water main near the Pointe-Claire Village flooded about a dozen homes
The winter of our discontent took another cold twist last Wednesday when a burst water main turned a Pointe-Claire neighbourhood into a flood zone.
A broken 14-inch pipe on Victoria Ave., near Ste-Claire Ave., sent water gushing into streets, flooding about a dozen homes in a residential pocket just east of the Pointe-Claire Village.
For Trevor Coulton, a resident of Brunet Ave., the overnight flood led to a disturbing wake-up call on Wednesday morning. Coulton said he was awoken at 4:30 a.m. by an unfamiliar sound coming from the basement.
“It sounded like the washing machine filling up with water, only louder,” said Coulton, who went downstairs to discover his semi-finished basement filling up with ice-cold water.
“I must have had 6.5-feet of water in the basement.”
City crews managed to close the main water valve in the affected area Wednesday, but not before streams of water had already gushed down Brunet and Victoria Aves.
The burst water main also forced the temporary closure of nearby streets, including Lakeshore Rd.
While emergency crews were busy pumping water from flooded basements, city snow plows pushed aside pools of accumulated ice and slush, the cocktail of choice for Mother Nature this winter.
The city also issued a boiled water advisory for affected residents on Victoria, Ste-Claire and Cartier Avenues. It was lifted on Friday morning.
Coulton said he will likely have to gut his basement and assess other property damages.
“That’s what insurance is for,” he said Friday.
Pointe-Claire Mayor Belvedere did not know why the water main burst, but suspects it may be due to significant fluctuations in temperatures from Tuesday through Wednesday.
Belvedere said extreme weather conditions appear to be the new normal in Montreal, which has been hit with mix of snow, rain and freezing rain in recent weeks.
“It had to be the weather. We had minus 25 C then plus 6 C, so that’s a perfect storm for a water main to break.”
“You hate to see this happen,” added Belvedere, who lives nearby and had flood water accumulate at the foot of his own driveway.
Property owners who sustained flood damage have 15 days to file a claim with the city.
The mayor said the city threw almost all of its available resources at the affected area, including the Pointe-Claire Volunteer Rescue Unit, public security, local fire department and public works. “Even Baie-D’Urfé was here helping out,” he said
Coulton praised the city’s efforts in dealing with the emergency situation.
“The city did a great job,” he said. “They were here pretty quick. City workers, the fire department, even volunteers. It was nice to see. ”
While some residents were forced to leave their homes because of the flooding that knocked out basement furnaces, Coulton was able to stay in his home Wednesday night.
“I’ve still got heat and electricity, so I’ll be all right. A hot meal and a warm bed.“
But many personal effects, such as family photographs, were probably lost in the flood, he added.
“That’s the stuff you can’t replace.”