‘It’s extreme’: Winnipeg residents concerned about retention ponds flooding properties

After dealing with a pair of weekend storms that brought large amounts of precipitation to Winnipeg and Manitoba, some are now dealing with retention ponds flooding their properties.

Water from the neighbourhood retention pond is creeping into Jennifer Lim’s backyard. It’s almost as high as her chain-link fence and the Amber Trails resident has never seen it like this.

“This is something else, it’s extreme,” said Lim, who is hoping the water won’t reach her house. “Still not sleeping well, it’s nerve-racking, to say the least.”

Across the pond, the water is a lot closer to Jay Oza and Brant Bishop’s houses.

“It’s a virtual swimming pool out here,” said Oza.

They want the city to drain the pond.

“Drop it by a few feet so it protects our home,” said Oza.

“The lakes in the Amber Trails system are super elevated, so I wonder if there is some way they can spread the load out a little bit,” said Bishop.

The city said like rivers, retention pond water levels rise with heavy rain and snowmelt.

In a statement, it said all ponds in the city have been checked and the system for water drainage is functioning properly with no blockages.

“The water levels are much higher than usual but the City is monitoring the ponds daily and doing all it can to regulate the height of the water in the ponds.”

Waverley West Councillor Janice Lukes said ponds in her ward are overflowing too.

“They’re all high, they’re all very high…the water and waste department is telling me all systems are flowing,” said Lukes.

The city is advising people to pick up sandbags at city depots to protect the outside of their property.

Impacted homeowners in Amber Trails say the city should be delivering them. The community is considering pitching in together to rent a truck.

“I kind of drive an older mom van, surprise, surprise, and loading them up is not going to be too good for me,” said Lim.

The city says sandbags are available 24 hours per day a day at 1220 Pacific Avenue, 1090 Thomas Avenue, and 1539 Waverley Street.

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