As rain continues to fall over Minden, Kirsten Monk and Barry Cray remain confident they’ll stay dry and weather the flood of 2019. 

Following flooding two springs ago, the owners of Gordon A. Monk Funeral Home spent more than $50,000 flood-proofing their home on Bobcaygeon Road, adjacent to the Gull River. 

They hoped it would protect the property in the event of another one-in-a-hundred-year flood. However, they’ve now seen three of those in six years. 

“It’s amazing,” says Monk of the work they did with an engineer and builder. They have two concrete reservoirs that the water is drawn into via O pipes. 

The system means the couple has only had to lay a few hundred sandbags this year, compared to 12,000 in 2017. 

“It’s amazing to actually see it work. I feel very secure in what we’ve done,” Monk said. 

Not everyone in the town of Minden Hills has been so fortunate.

So far, there has been only one self-evacuation that the township knows of, but water has crept into homes and numerous roads remain closed. The latest water level management update, issued Tuesday, called for a five-day weather forecast predicting another heavy and widespread rain event with totals as high as 55 mm of precipitation.

“Water levels and flows remain high in northern areas. Most lake levels on the Gull River system are above full and expected to increase as a result of the forecasted rain amounts,” the statement said. Mayor Brent Devolin told The Highlander Tuesday, “We need to watch the 35-55 mm of rain in the next three days.”

He said the levels in Minden may rise again, but probably not to the 271.6 peak levels of last week. Nonetheless, he advises, “Leave sand bagging in place till the declaration is ended.”

More could be done

But Monk and Cray aren’t convinced everything’s been done that could be done. They spent the money to put value back into their business but also because, “We can’t keep living our lives the way we’ve been living every time this happens.”

They weren’t covered by insurance in 2013, and while covered in 2017 paid a $10,000 deductible. Another flood such as this one would have brought a $50,000 deductible. They remortgaged to do the flood-proofing.

“Until the powers that be do the right thing, no one is safe,” Monk said, pointing a finger at Trent-Severn Waterway management. Cray added, “nothing’s been done from 2013 to change the infrastructure of this town, to prevent what’s happening.”

Monk said they’d prefer $12.5 million not be spent on the arena renewal.

“They could still upgrade the arena at a reasonable cost and there would be an awful lot of money to protect people on Invergordon Avenue, Anson, Prince etc.,” she said.


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