A landlord in St. John’s had to deal with an unfortunate scenario Wednesday morning after a water main break on Terra Nova Road flooded the basement of his rental property.
The City of St. John’s reported the break at 10:30 a.m. It happened in front of a house to the right of Gerald Barrett’s property. Barrett was working when he received a phone call from one of his tenants.
“The water was running down the street, just the same as a river,” said Barrett. “In my driveway, the water was coming up in under the pavement, which had all my driveway busted up.”
It was entering his house through the windows and the door leading to the basement apartment. Barrett said flooding also occurred at a neighbour’s home. The water flowed eight inches above the windows leading into the basement and two inches above the basement floor, he said.
Barrett was surprisingly upbeat when discussing the incident, in spite of the fact he had new flooring and kitchen cabinets installed for the basement apartment last fall.
“I’m a little disappointed in the mess there, but that type of thing happens,” he said.
According to Barrett, the pipe was approximately seven feet below the ground, and the break occurred on its side.
“The side came right out of the pipe, and of course the water had to go somewhere when it came up, and my driveway was right next door. But no one was hurt, so other than that, everything else is only material.”
All of the flooring will need to be removed from the basement, along with the sub-floor and drywall to prevent mould from taking hold. Barrett was uncertain who will be responsible to pay for that work.
“I called the city, of course, and they’re going to send me out some forms, and the insurance, they sent an adjuster in this afternoon to do some measurements and assess the damage,” Barrett said.
As for the three female students who have been living in the apartment, Barrett said he hopes the damage can be dealt with as quickly as possible to minimize the impact on his tenants.
A contractor, Barrett hopes to start handling some of the necessary demolition work on Thursday.
“They’re in university doing studies. They don’t want too much interruption.”
City workers dug a large hole on Terra Nova Road Wednesday to handle repairs for the damaged water main.
Loss of water, low pressure and discoloration were anticipated byproducts of the break.
The city expected to complete repairs by 6 p.m. Wednesday.