Vienna, Ont. residents blame infrastructure for flooding
Residents in tiny Vienna, north of Port Burwell, Ont. are blaming a municipal drain that hasn’t been properly maintained for flooding that has swamped the village.
Just five kilometres from Lake Erie, much of the village in the Municipality of Bayham sits on a floodplain on the banks of Otter Creek.
But residents say their low-lying position isn’t to blame for the severe flooding Thursday morning.
Homeowner John Petersen says “If the drain had worked it wouldn’t have happened…This flood was man-made by the municipality because the maintenance wasn’t there.”
A Thursday morning thunderstorm that lasted just a few hours flooded out parts of the valley community, washing out driveway and roads, and submerging gardens.
The water was two feet high around some new homes, and residents say they’re convinced the problem is from a blocked drain the Municipality of Bayham has failed to maintain.
Petersen says “We feel like we're running our head against a wall. I mean if you talk to them and they say ‘Well you know you should feel privileged we allow you to live there. There should be no houses down in lower Vienna.’ Then you're sort of saying to yourself, ‘Why, why are they collecting taxes on us.’”
The road next to the drain was completely underwater Thursday morning, and the debris could be seen all along the roadway.
Elaine Rego operates the Valley Variety gas station, before the water receded she was concerned it could seep into the gas tank.
“It is just rain water that's not going anywhere. I mean the creek isn't even that high. So to me there is no reason that any of that should have been like that.”
Town administrator declined repeated requests to comment and the drainage supervisor did not respond to numerous messages from CTV News.
The last time there was flooding in recent years was when ice jams were blocking the flow of water. That time though, residents say Mother Nature was to blame.