WATERLOO REGION —
The sudden downpour that hit the region just after 2 p.m. resulted in flash flooding at many roadways and parking lots, forcing people to wade through knee-deep waters. While the flooding may have been a nightmare for some, children in Anstett’s Kitchener neighbourhood embraced the situation.
“These kids were paddling a canoe down the road and I thought, ‘Wow, what a great way to start their first day of summer,’ ” she said.
The water the children paddled through at the corner of Ada Street and Burbank Road was almost half a metre deep, Anstett said.
As of 5:30 p.m., the University of Waterloo Weather Station recorded that 52.5 millimetres of rain fell over the course of the day.
At its peak, the storm dropped 30 millimetres of rain within three hours, said Frank Seglenieks, co-ordinator of the weather station.
And it wasn’t just homeowners that were affected.
Flooding at the parking lot of Fairview Park mall left some shoppers stranded, unable to move their vehicles through over 60 centimetres of water. As the rain continued, the flood spread into the mall, affecting common areas and stores.
Mall staff was able to quickly clean up the flooding and the mall remained opened for regular hours, said Leah Landriault, marketing manager for Fairview Park mall.
Some stores were closed for a few hours while wet areas dried and Sears closed for the rest of the day.
Landriault was unable to comment on potential damages as of Friday evening and said some stores were still evaluating the situation.
Shoppers at Costco on King Street East also had to wade through waters that almost reached their knees in the flooded parking lot.
Nicole Wolters, in an email to The Record, said she and her husband Suraj Singh had to take their shoes off in order to walk to their car while pushing their shopping cart through the water.
Flooding in many areas quickly subsided as utility crews worked on clearing drainage sites, said Greg Hummel, manager of park planning, development and operations for the City of Kitchener.
Some areas of Kitchener that experienced significant flooding included Fairview Avenue and Weber Street East.
There were also reports of flooding along Franklin Street, Thaler Avenue, Wilson Avenue and Manitou Drive, said Waterloo Regional Police.
In Waterloo, Denise McGoldrick, director of water services, explained that some of the high-risk flooding areas were in older portions of the city where storm sewers are less capable of taking in surges of rain.
The areas around Weber Street and Marsland Drive experienced some flooding, as did King Street at University Avenue, Regina Street at Spring Street and William Street at Herbert Street.
Thunderstorm warnings by Environment Canada ended for Waterloo Region just before 5 p.m., although rain continued into the evening. More rain and thundershowers are forecasted for Saturday afternoon with highs reaching 23 C.
A mix of sun and cloud is expected for Sunday and Canada Day Monday with a high of 25 C.
Water levels along the Grand River watershed are expected to rise throughout the weekend because of the heavy rain.
The Grand River Conservation Authority advises local residents to keep away from slippery water banks and take extra caution while participating in recreation activities along the river during the long weekend.
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