Residents battle flood waters—again
|By Mark Arike - Staff Writer | May 11, 2017
Like other Anson Street residents, Michael Bainbridge has been wading through water to get to town. He’s also been ferrying his daughters to the school bus by rowboat, footage of which appeared on CityNews.
It’s the second time in four years his family’s been in this unsettling position. But this time they are better prepared.
“We’ll stay,” said Bainbridge in an interview on Saturday afternoon. “We’ll be fine, unless there’s a mandatory evacuation. But if that happens that means the furnace is gone, so I really hope that doesn’t happen.”
The flood of 2013 came with little warning, resulting in significant damage and financial loss for the family. Items that perished included an entire freezer with $400 worth of food, a furnace and water heater.
“This year, we learned our lesson,” he said, pointing out their basement is quite empty but stores a new furnace. They also have a new sump pump, which “has been doing its job.”
Early on, he witnessed many people driving down the street. Some needed to be there while others were joyriding.
“It was like a circus sideshow [on May 5],” he recalled.
“We even had a few people come through with their phones out, driving, making a video to see how high they can get the wake as they’re going through.”
Bainbridge said his family is coping better this time around and it’s easier for daughters, Naiomi and Clementine, who are eight and nine years old. His wife, Brigitte, went to Sudbury to perform in a theatre festival.
“My only hope is that this doesn’t weigh too heavily on her mind,” he said.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Bainbridge said the water had risen about two inches from Monday. It was as deep as two feet in some areas.
Their basement “is a bit of an indoor pool,” but the furnace is still out of harm’s way.
Lyn Winans, who also lives on Anson Street, wasn’t so lucky. She woke up to smoke and her detector going off at 6 a.m.
“It turns out water came in and drowned the furnace,” she said. “Crappy way to wake up.”
Mary Forbes was out for a walk with her dog, Rascal, shortly after the state of emergency was declared. She lives on high ground, near the elementary school, and was unaffected.
“It’s heartbreaking,” said Forbes, who is 71 and retired.
Rascal’s normal route is along Anson. He also enjoys the Riverwalk, board walk and Orde Street—all are underwater. Her husband took him to the fairgrounds earlier in the day.
“I’m just surprised Mother Nature threw this curve at us and it kept raining this bad,” she said, adding she believes in climate change.
Forbes said the municipality, politicians and the Trent-Severn Waterway have done a good job of informing the public.
For the latest updates on water levels, residents should visit the township’s website at mindenhills.ca.
MARK ARIKE is a reporter for The Highlander.