Edmonton business owners frustrated by flooding

In a span of two hours Thursday morning, Sean Ebbesen’s northwest business property was flooded. The owner of TCA Developments, a contracting company, saw the forecast and knew what he was in for.

‘When it rains, we all get stressed out here,” said Ebbesen.

“It’s been three years of hell.”

Ebbesen said since he moved into the Mistatim Industrial area three years ago, his property has flooded seven times. The only way to get the water out is with a sump pump.

READ MORE: Afternoon thunderstorm batters Edmonton causing localized flooding

When Ebbesen arrived at his shop at 4 a.m., his storage and parking lot looked more like a swimming pool.

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“Right when we moved in I had to gut the entire office,” said Ebbesen. “We had a nice big rain storm and it flooded the whole area.”

Ebbesen hasn’t bothered to fix the inside of his shop, knowing it will just be destroyed by more water. He said there’s no storm drain in the area and the drainage runs out back of his property along a ditch.

Frustrated, Ebbesen said he has no choice but to pump the water in the sewer. He has tried holding back taxes from the city but said nothing has been done to fix the flooding.

“Most of the time our sump can pump it out and it’s kind of okay,” said Ebbesen.

“Then there’s that 20 per cent where it gets blocked up — either from my neighbours, who didn’t follow the proper drainage plan when they were building their areas… or whether or not they need another pooling pond and just haven’t put it in. I don’t know.”

READ MORE: Water main break damages south Edmonton businesses

EPCOR said the pooling is a private property issue.

“Drainage in this area is provided by ditches,” said EPCOR spokesperson Kelly Struski.

“To prevent pooling, the property owner needs to manage the stormwater on the private property so it runs toward the ditches.”

South of Ebbesen’s property, Scott Conrad at Phoenix Fence said the ditches aren’t working.

“The ditches won’t drain,” said Conrad.

“I phoned the city and they said it’s supposed to run west of here but there’s no culverts in the driveways so it can’t flow west.”

“One good heavy shower and my shop gets flooded because the ditches won’t drain.”

Scott Conrad with Phoenix Fence found five inches of water in his shop Thursday morning. June 20, 2019.

Kendra Slugoski

Conrad found five inches of water in his shop Thursday morning — his sump pump had been running for nearly two days.

“Pretty frustrating because I should be working.”

Ward 2 councillor Bev Esslinger told Global News the city has been meeting with members of the Mistatim Industrial Park to address the aging roads and other issues of the annexed area.

READ MORE: Edmonton maps warn of flooding danger in McKernan, Parkallen

City administration is reviewing a number of unserviced industrial sites to assess the current state and possible upgrades to those areas, including roads, ditches, water and sewer. Administration plans to present the scale and cost of updating that infrastructure to council by the end of the year.

Business owners said they’ve been waiting years for the city to fix the pooling problem and Ebbesen said he can’t fix up his shop for fear of another flood.

“I really don’t know what else to do.”