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Penticton  

Excess runoff causing strife

A Naramata homeowner is feeling a bit exasperated after dealing with a flooding/erosion problem for more than a month now in his backyard.

Lyle Armour, a resident of Winifred Road, says in the 14 years he has lived in his home he's never seen anything like this before, and no one seems willing to help.

"I'm feeling frustrated and I'm not a squeaky wheel guy," he said. "I just don't know how much more damage is going to occur."

Armour first observed that something wasn't right when he came home from a holiday on March 19.

When he walked into his backyard he found there had been a landslide and the retaining wall he built 10 years ago had collapsed.

Since then, the water hasn't stopped running, and has entered his garage and under his shed, with mould starting to grow on the collapsed wall.

His neighbour on Winifred had also experienced sliding dirt in his backyard, with other residents in the area reporting similar issues.

On the Kettle Valley Rail Trail, just above his home, there is also a small ditch with water running through it, which Armour says he has never seen before.

It is his belief the water is coming from a large pond on a housing development going in north of his home.

He has talked to the owner who has been very forthcoming, but doesn't believe the pond is the source.

Adding to the problem has been a minimal response from the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen and Ministry of Transportation.

"My main concern is how does this get corrected," he said.

RDOS chair Karla Kozakevich said something like this is not an RDOS issue, more of an issue between private property owners.

She said other houses below the KVR, which are nowhere near the development have been impacted by excess water as well.

A gentleman below where she lives has had his basement flooded for about three weeks now.

What she has been told, she said, is it has been a longer, colder winter than normal and when the ground is colder for longer, it doesn't absorb water.

She added that Armour is trying to make this a specific issue to him but it is happening throughout BC.

"Here's my quandary," Armour said. "Do I put hard earned money into pursuing legal action which may or may not come to anything, or do I divert the water flowing down the KVR somewhere else at the expense of others.”

“I'm not a NIMBY type, I just want someone to come forward and say where the water is coming from."



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