Many people across Winnipeg continue to see flooded streets, yards, and basements, but one Transcona family is dealing with all three.
They’ve affectionately named it “Lake Van Dasselaar,” after patriarch John Van Dasselaar, who has lived on Valde Avenue near the corner of Day Street for over 60 years.
But that’s about as far as the affection goes, with Van Dasselaar saying the headache from his perpetually-flooded street and yard may make him decide to move.
“I don’t like to (move), but you know, if you have to go through this every spring — it’s different if I was 25 years old, but I’m 88 years old, so you can’t do that no more,” Van Dasselaar said.
The pool easily stretches the width of the road in front of his home, across his front yard, and runs along the side of his house.
His daughter, Pat Remillard, says the problem has gotten worse over the past five years, and it’s now spilling over into the basement.
“Now he’s got flooding in the basement, (and) the stress of what I’m feeling is negligent water stewardship is putting a real strain on his heart, and he’s had heart surgeries,” Remillard said.
“He’s an old man and, you know, this isn’t good for his health.”
Early Wednesday afternoon, a city crew arrived to try unblocking some nearby culverts, something Van Dassellar said should have been done sooner, but Remillard would like to see a more permanent solution.
“The simple fix in my mind is: dig a proper ditch on the south side of the road so that the water has some place to go,” Remillard said.
“There’s huge ditches on Day Street which feeds this little road, just do the same.”
In an email, Transcona councillor Shawn Nason says he’s heard similar complaints from others living in the area.
“Residents there are concerned about overland flooding due to high snow and being in ditches (sic). I’ve been assured that it is being monitored — but when residents reach out to my office I ensure 311 is included on the replies,” Nason wrote.
“Typically the public service has been responsive to these concerns but some of the proactive needs in situations like Valde should have been flagged as a recurring location.”
But as he attempts to pump some two inches of water out of his basement, Van Dassellar isn’t sure how much longer he wants to wait for the city to figure out a solution.
“It’s kind of hard because I’ve been here for 65 years, and if I had to go live somewhere else, I don’t know where, and if I had to live in the city, I don’t know how to live in the city,” Van Dassellar said.
“I guess I’ll have to get used to it if I have to.”
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