Coronation Park residents organizing flood disaster meeting

Flood damaged items put to the curb for pickup in Sarnia's Coronation Park area. August 10, 2022. Sarnia News Today photo by Stephanie Chaves.

Residents in the Coronation Park area are being invited to a flood disaster meeting next week organized by people in their neighbourhood.

David Wood, a resident of Germain Street, said they plan to gather at Community of Christ Church on Leckie Drive, across from Great Lakes Secondary School on Wednesday, August 17 at 7 p.m.

“Almost the entire neighbourhood was flooded,” Wood said. “I have an engineering background. I understand that the storm we had was unusual. We had five inches of rain in 24 hours and that really exacerbated this particular problem. But, the problem has existed for 40, 50 years, it was legally addressed with the city 20 years ago.”

Wood said the issue has yet to be adequately addressed.

“I have a meeting on Friday with a gentleman who was involved in a lawsuit against the city 20 years ago. The lawsuit failed. City lawyers could just wait them out until the committee that was formed ran out of money to support the legal fees for the lawsuit. So, clearly, trying to sue the city is not the way to go.”

Wood said the chronic flooding, without a timely resolution, is negatively impacting the quality of life of residents.

“I think we need to put enough pressure on the city to permanently cure the problem,” he said. “It appears, from all of the information I’ve gathered so far, that it’s been patch, patch, patch, patch, patch, for at least 20 or 30 years.”

Wood said he would welcome the attendance of city officials at the meeting.

“It’s inappropriate to lay blame on the particular individuals who are on council now, because when this problem started, they weren’t even on council.”

He said his insurance company has cut back on coverage, flooding coverage has been dropped entirely and claims for sewage backup coverage is now limited to $10,000.

Wood said even with a sump pump and back flush valve, he ended up with 14 inches of sewage in the basement.

“Well, it’s going to cost $10,000 just to rip out the entire four feet of the basement, all the insulation, all the drywall and the insurance adjuster asked us to start making a list and find out what it would cost to replace the furniture we’ve lost, I’m well over $10,000 on a list.”

Wood said a petition will also be available at the meeting for residents to sign.

Those unable to attend, but who want to sign the petition, can contact Wood on his cell phone at 519-381-9882 (text messages are preferred) or by email at david@wood-family.ca

Flood damaged items put to the curb for pickup in Sarnia's Coronation Park area. August 10, 2022. Sarnia News Today photo by Stephanie Chaves.

Flood damaged items put to the curb for pickup in Sarnia’s Coronation Park area. August 10, 2022. Sarnia News Today photo by Stephanie Chaves.

The City of Sarnia provided curbside removal of flood-damaged materials on Thursday.

Earlier this week, the city said 156 reports of basement flooding had been received.

Sarnia council will hold an emergency meeting to discuss the issue on Friday.

The formation of an immediate action plan to respond to the flooding in the city will be considered.

The meeting will be held in-person in council chambers at 10 a.m. and streamed online through a link on the city’s website.