Flooding help coming for Saanich’s Cadboro-Gyro Park

Saanich will begin addressing persistent stormwater pooling in the parking lot and nearby washrooms later this year

Cadboro-Gyro Park experiences flooding after heavy rain because the area is below sea level during high tide.

Cadboro-Gyro Park experiences flooding after heavy rain because the area is below sea level during high tide.

After a $675,000 upgrade to Cadboro-Gyro Park in 2014, Saanich parks and engineering staff will begin addressing persistent stormwater pooling in the parking lot and nearby washrooms later this year.

“We’ve got a challenge there with the park essentially being below the sea level during storm events,” said Andrew Giles, parks construction and maintenance manager.

When a perfect storm combines during high tide that forces south-easterly winds and heavy rainfall, stormwater runoff becomes trapped in the parking lot and nearby areas of the park, Giles said.

“So basically what’s happening is there’s a tide flex valve that prevents the sea water from flowing back at high tide after a storm surge,” he said. “Once that valve closes, there’s nowhere else for the storm water to go.”

That’s good because the valve stops flooding in the basements of nearby homes, but it also means the rain water can’t flow out into Cadboro Bay.

“This is a situation that’s not new,” Giles said. “It’s happened for years and years. We’re hoping the work next year will actually make it so the water does go back into the pipes fairly quickly. No matter what we do for design, unless we put in a major pumping system, the park will still flood. But it should dissipate more quickly after a storm surge.”

editor@saanichnews.com

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