The City of Toronto has rejected 217 damage claims from homeowners in Scarborough’s Ward 36 whose basements were flooded during the July 15 storm.
Gary Crawford, the local councillor, said it’s disappointing the residents didn’t get any compensation. “They went through incredible hardships,” he said.
But Crawford said he was satisfied any sort of sewer infrastructure would have been overwhelmed by the severity of the storm.
Environment Canada said parts of Southwest Scarborough received 88 millimetres of rain in two hours on July 15, pushing the storm to a level the city said should occur once in 100 years.
Toronto’s sewers are expected to handle runoff from a 25-year storm, and after talking to Toronto Water staff, Crawford said he’s satisfied the sewer system in his hard-hit Birch Cliff area, which has some older combined sewers, had been reasonably well-maintained.
Alex Mozo, a spokesperson for the city, confirmed the number of claims in the ward and that all were denied.
Crawford said he wants to look further into residents’ contention that a still-unassumed development at Midland and St. Clair avenues has worsened flooding for homes to the south, though staff said there has been no effect.
At Toronto Council last week, Crawford said he supported water rate increases because they are needed to improve sewers in a list of priority wards to which both Southwest Scarborough wards were added to this year.
Over the coming months, he hopes to find $9.4 million for sewer projects in Ward 36 that “would greatly improve water flow” and reduce flooding risks for the Birch Cliff area, he said.