A photo of the backyards of the Terra Lee neighbourhood

A photo of the backyards of the Terra Lee neighbourhood

Resident concerned about downstream creek flooding

Terra Lee neighbourhood citizens worried about rising Joseph Creek levels.

A Cranbrook man is worried about potential for flooding from Joseph Creek  in the neighbourhood of Terra Lee after noticing the water level rising due to ice buildup.

Bill Sutherland, a property owner in Terra Lee, is frustrated about the rising levels and blames the increase on a decision by the city to break up the ice, which has resumed the water flow.

“This year, the city brought us more Elizabeth Lake water,” Sutherland wrote, in a letter to the city, referencing the replacement of a culvert on Wattsville Rd. “This water/ice threatened to damage the city’s Willowbrook Drive bridge. The city’s solution was to break up the ice in front of their bridge. This is 50 feet upstream of Terra Lee property and this is why our property was flooded. Other Joseph creek properties did not experience the extreme flooding conditions that impacted Terra Lee.

“…We have had 3 weeks of temperatures always below zero.  We have had next to no precipitation (a few inches of snow that remains frozen). The freezing temperatures mean storm sewers have not been flowing. Other Joseph Creek residents are not calling the city to report extreme flooding conditions.”

Pointing to the culvert replacement on Wattsville Rd., Sutherland noted that there have been repercussions downstream since the project was completed.

“Where is the Elizabeth sediment going to end up?” wrote Sutherland. “If it can plug a 3 foot culvert, it shouldn’t be ending up on the Joseph Creek spawning creek bed.

“…This winter Terra Lee has seen how unclogging one culvert can flood us.  If the creek had risen a few more inches we would have had flooded homes at Terra Lee.”

Public Works never believed that the properties were in danger of flooding in 2014  due to the flooding situation ad Elizabeth Lake, according to the city.

“Wide fluctuations in temperature and in the types of precipitation so far this winter has allowed for the buildup of ice, allowing the creek to flow on top of the ice which created some potential localized flooding concerns for some residents, not just around Terra Lee Terrace,” said city officials in a statement. ” As it stands today, the ice levels are up to two feet above the creek bed and the water is flowing underneath the ice.

“Public Works continues to monitor the water and ice levels daily throughout the entire length of Joseph Creek as it travels through the City. City staff has engaged with the strata council at Terra Lee Terrace about Mr. Sutherland’s concerns around the potential for flooding and we will continue to be in contact with the strata council as needed.”