John Patterson is used to seeing Sooke River Road’s constant mood swings – one moment it’s there, the next, it’s underwater – sometimes for months.
“It’s huge and it’s very deep. It takes a week of sunny weather to dry it up,” Patterson said, who lives in the 2600 block of Sooke River Road.
He said the District of Sooke remedied the issue a decade ago, as he has not gotten water in his crawl space since, but down at the other end of Sooke River Road in the 3400 block, the road still gets submerged.
The problem goes back to 2004 when the Capital Regional District installed a new water main in the area, disrupting the native soil in the process, said Rob Howatt, the district’s director of development services, adding since then, the water can’t filter through, causing it to pool on the road.
“There’s been much talk how can we fix it, how can we remedy it. I still have a budget for it, but haven’t been able to conclude anything in this point in time, because I need to run the water off the road towards Sooke River,” Howatt said.
To this point, the district hasn’t come to a consensus yet to the neighbouring property to secure a “right of trespass” to allow the water to run down to the river.
“We thought to maybe dig on the high side of the road do a rock pit, which wouldn’t alleviate the entire problem, but it might help. Unfortunately, the water line is not really deep enough to allow us to do that to any degree. We’re back at plan A,” Howatt said.
Turns out, Sooke River Road is one of several “wet spots” in Sooke.
At the west end, Rick Grimm, a resident in the 6800 block of West Coast Road, has struggled with flooding for the last seven years, as water runs off the curb, down the side of the road and onto his driveway.
To try to stop the flooding, he dug a trench so the water goes down the side of the house rather than the driveway, including four truckloads of road base – but his efforts have had limited success.
“I shouldn’t be doing it,” Grimm said. “I’m tired of having to get out there in the pouring rain and dig a trench so it doesn’t run in the middle my driveway.”
Last week, Mayor Maja Tait said there’s “significant flooding” on Goodmere and Horne Roads, and that it’s “on staff’s radar for a long-term fix.”
Going back to flooding on Sooke River Road, Coun. Rick Kasper said this is a “historical” issue, and that everyone has looked at a remedy for a while.
“We have earmarked $300,000 to fix that problem on Sooke River Road going back to 2014, but nothing has been done,” he said.