White Rock resident Eve Henry says the city has failed to enforce the B.C. Building Code.

Homeowner blames city officials after flood damage

Eve Henry wants to know why the White Rock isn’t protecting taxpayers by enforcing the B.C. Building Code.

A White Rock woman whose home suffered flood damage early last month says her investment remains at risk more than a month later and wants to know why the city isn’t protecting taxpayers by enforcing the B.C. Building Code.

Eve Henry noted the code calls on developers to limit the probability of risk to the public from their projects, “but it’s up to the municipality to enforce it” – something she says isn’t happening.

City officials dispute the charge, assuring all necessary inspections are conducted as required on projects, and that Henry’s outstanding issues are between her and the developer.

Henry lives adjacent to a triplex development underway in the 15300-block of Semiahmoo Avenue, across from First United Church.

On Oct. 5, a deluge of water and mud flowed from the lot to the west onto her property and into the finished basement level that her developmentally disabled niece calls home.

The debris – largely from dirt that has been piled next to her fence by workers – plugged exterior drains, and the water “broke through and filled up two feet,” Henry said.

“I had to call the fire department in. It was a nightmare.”

Damage was assessed at $15,000 – Henry’s insurance deductible is $1,000 – and work to disinfect and replace affected flooring got underway. Her garage door is still to be replaced.

Henry, who bought her home nine years ago, said the incident was the first time any issues have arisen. She said part of the problem is the developer was allowed to build the lot up, but wasn’t made to erect a retaining wall between the two properties, or provide for drainage.

Now, with any rainfall, mud and water comes through her fence, spreads across her walkway and pools at the base of her concrete stairwell.

This week, Henry said, she returned home Monday evening just in time to stop mud and debris from once again clogging her exterior drains and causing a flood.

Henry said her appeals for answers have been largely ignored, and that her requests for steps to alleviate the problem have resulted in temporary measures that only exacerbate the situation.

Mayor Wayne Baldwin told Henry he looked at the area last month, and he was assured by staff that a “rain curb” should alleviate the runoff into her property until a driveway can be built.

Last week, director of engineering Greg St. Louis was confident that particular issue has been addressed.

“I was out there during the rain to make sure everything was running OK,” he told Peace Arch News. “I explained there’s no problem with the road drainage.”

A temporary trench dug along the under-construction property’s north-south fence line was anticipated to alleviate further concerns with water run-off, St. Louis said.

Richard Wilson, the city’s senior building official, told PAN the city is working with the developer “to mitigate any further issues.” He said the Oct. 5 events caught the developer off-guard, and believes construction-related defoliation of the formerly grassed and landscaped front yard played a large role in it.

Wilson said the developer has been “put on point that water can’t be drained onto the neighbour’s property,” and has committed to “make good” with the damage to Henry’s fence. Temporary downspouts installed on the triplex were also expected to help.

Wilson described what happened as “pretty unusual.”

“We don’t really have a lot of water issues from construction sites,” he said. “I think it was a whole bunch of situations coming together and suddenly there was this big problem.”

But Henry said more should have been done in the wake of the first flood.

“The day that happened, they should’ve put in proper drainage and they still haven’t,” she said. “Nobody’s taking responsibility.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fire truck, police car hit in chain of crashes on Hwy. 99 in South Surrey

‘People weren’t paying attention,’ says Surrey assistant fire chief

Final Four set at Surrey RCMP Classic, where a new champ will be crowned

Guildford Park beats Semiahmoo, ending Totems’ three-year championship run

City of Surrey spends $1.2M on winter maintenance – so far

Total budget of $3.7M; 7,000 tonnes of salt used

Not over yet: Mixture of snow, freezing rain on way as winter storm tapers in Lower Mainland

Environment Canada releases weather alert for Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley

Surrey man charged in 2019 Vancouver homicide

Chad Harry, 32, charged with second-degree murder in killing of 35-year-old Cong Tran

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

B.C. offers $5 million equipment loan program to help ailing forest contractors

Local politicians in Port McNeill and Campbell River says local economies are struggling

Vancouver Island distillery wins award for best Canadian rye whisky

Shelter Point cleans up at Canadian Whisky Awards

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

Dad of missing Abbotsford woman charged after allegedly exposing himself in park

Barry Shpeley charged with sexual assault and assault

Crown won’t appeal sentence in child sex assault case of former Burns Lake mayor

B.C. Prosecution Service said sentence doesn’t meet standard for appeal

VIDEO: Semi driver records 22 crashes in one icy trip from Chilliwack to Abbotsford

‘Treacherous’ morning had emergency crews struggling to reach stranded drivers

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

B.C. pair ordered to pay $55,000 for oil tank discovered four years after selling home

Judge says defendants breached contract, despite being unaware of tank until basement flooded

Most Read

l -->