NEWS

Toronto woman faces battle over flood-toppled wall

08/08/2013 07:45 EDT | Updated 10/08/2013 05:12 EDT
A 73-year-old Toronto woman is in a desperate battle with the region's conservation authority to rebuild a retaining wall that protects her property from Mimico Creek, one month after the wall was destroyed in a record flood,

Like many others in Toronto's west end, Nadi Belsky's yard and basement were heavily damaged in the rainfall that drenched the Greater Toronto Area on the night of July 8.

Rushing waters also toppled a retaining wall that protects her home from the creek behind her backyard.

Fed up with waiting for the conservation authority to show up and rebuild the wall, Belsky went ahead without the necessary paperwork and hired a few extra hands to rebuild it.

"I didn't get the permit. There's no way to get the permit," she said. "You can't even get the phone call there to communicate with them because they're so busy with everybody."

The CBC's Jeff Semple said the heavy rainfall that night swept up rocks and debris that have now settled along the creek acting like dams.

'It's like a clogged artery'

Mike Barnett said the neighbourhood has learned the hard way: when the creek floods, their basements and sewage systems do too.

"Right there it's like a clogged artery," said Barnett. “When that happens the water has nowhere to go but over the banks of the river and onto the street."

Conservation officials did visit Belsky's home one month after the flood on Thursday, but it was to tell her to stop building the wall.

"What are they complaining about?" she said. "Shame on them."

The conservation authority said it's in the process of assessing 300 properties, estimating the damage to be up to $60 million.

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