Weekend weather prompts reminders to West Shore residents

Displaced seniors taken in at new Colwood hotel after water main break

First responders and other crews were busy on the West Shore over the weekend dealing with the effects of the torrential downpours and pelting winds.

But while crews were dealing with flooding and other weather related-incidents, they were also called to at least one incident not caused by Mother Nature.

A flood at the West Shore Lodge, which provides supported housing for seniors off Island Highway near Colwood Corners, caused a full evacuation of the site, displacing 62 residents Sunday night.

The flooding, which saw water levels roughly one to one-and-a-half feet deep, was not caused by the weekend’s heavy rainfall. Colwood Fire Rescue Chief Kerry Smith said the cause was a break in the building’s water main. Colwood fire crews were on scene for roughly four hours to aid in the evacuation.

“Some (residents) were taken by family members,” Smith said, adding the new Holiday Inn Express on Wale Road also took in displaced residents.

Len Wansbrough, president of Metropolitan Capital Partners which operates Westridge Landing, confirmed they took in 14 residents, although the hotel did not officially open until Monday. He said crews were still doing final inspections Sunday night.

“We’re happy to be able to help,” said Wansbrough, adding the residents would be welcome at the hotel until they were able to return home. He added that the seniors staying at the hotel were especially excited about being there.

A representative of Trillium Care Communities, operator of West Shore Lodge, said in an email the remaining displaced residents were placed at three other Trillium homes in Victoria. Plans are in place to smoothly transition all residents back to West Shore Lodge by the end of this week.

As for weather-related flooding, in Langford pooling water around the area of Millstream and McCallum roads, compounded by leaves blown down by heavy winds, created some problems. But in general, the city experienced relatively few issues, having done a fair bit of proactive work to prepare for the rainy season, engineering director Michelle Mahovlich said.

“We have our annual cleaning phase where we clean out all the catch basins. Our road contractor had been doing that for two weeks before,” she said.

A flood in the Tim Horton’s parking lot off Goldstream Avenue, photos of which circulated on social media, resulted from the property owner not cleaning out their catch basin, Mahovlich said.

The storm was a good reminder for people to clean their eavestroughs and for all property owners to watch for fallen leaves accumulating around catch basin and storm drain areas.

– with files from Don Descoteau


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