Flooding issues for the cities of Mount Pearl and St. John’s appear to be under control as of this afternoon, with officials asking crews to ensure as many catch basins are cleared as possible.
Flooding on Carpasian Road in St. John's today.— Photo by Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram
Mount Pearl Mayor Randy Simms said following a short meeting this morning at city hall he was informed that while there were reports of water buildup, there weren’t any incidents of flooding.
“I left city hall around 10 a.m. and up to then … there was a lot of water on the roads, but we opened up a lot of catch basins in the lower part of town, in particular, and we seem to be all right,” Simms told The Telegram at lunchtime.
“We had a water main break on Wellington (Street) last night but repaired it right away and there’s been no incidents since then,” he said.
Simms said crews have been digging out basins in anticipation of the rain, but it’s difficult to clear them all.
“We never got them all dug out, obviously, because we have over 3,000 of them, so it’s not easy,” he said.
Mount Pearl’s director of infrastructure and public works, Gerry Antle, said as of lunchtime the focus for city crews was salting roads and clearing out basins that are being blocked by a buildup of ice.
“We have already salted once in preparation of the dropping temperatures, because the concern is there is going to be a lot of ice,” he said.
Antle said there have been 12 areas identified in Mount Pearl that have water buildup.
“It’s not flooding as such, there’s some water built up because of the blocked basins — the ice and snow clogging them is continuing, so crews are keeping an eye on that,” he said.
St. John’s director of public works, Paul Mackey, told The Telegram it had been relatively quiet up to around 12:30 p.m.
“We had a few calls for street flooding, buildup of water on the street, which is what you would expect with the snow damming off a lot of the catch basins, but nothing major,” he said.
“We’ve dispatched equipment to open them up, but we’ve not had a lot of calls and it seems like the heaviest of the rain is over now, so it doesn’t look like it’s going to be a major issue today,” he said.
Mackey said the reports the city did receive were from areas around town that are typically affected when there’s a lot of rain or rain and melting snow.
“We had calls from Water Street West, two or three locations, which is kind of what you would expect — a significant amount of water buildup in flat areas, and there were a few other isolated areas like Stamp’s Lane, Mundy Pond Road, pretty much the areas where you traditionally see buildup when it rains,” he said.
Regarding ice control, Mackey said the City of St. John’s doesn’t salt the roads until after the rain stops, but it keeps a close eye on pavement temperature, which is monitored by road weather information stations.
“For us there’s no point in salting when it’s raining because it will just be washed away and diluted, so when it dries up and gets near the freezing point we’ll be ready to go. It’s supposed to drop rapidly around suppertime and we’ll be ready to go. We have the salt trucks ready to go,” he said.