Above and below: Drone shot, courtesy of Deb’s Greenhouse, shows the flooding at her business property.
by Colin Smith
Deb’s Greenhouse has been flooded each spring for the last few years, and this one was no exception.
In fact, there was even more water this year than before, according to Deb Foisy, owner of the business west of Morinville on Highway 642.
“It’s the worst,” Foisy said. “It certainly surpasses last year.”
Warm temperatures over the weekend resulted in plenty of snowmelt, and Sunday morning she came out to find water flowing through the yard and the greenhouse several inches deep in water.
Fortunately, all of the plants were up off the ground so nothing was lost, but Foisy asked employees to stay home because all the water made for unsafe working conditions.
By Monday, the water had dropped several inches with the aid of suction pumps brought in by the County of Sturgeon.
But while Foisy is grateful for the County’s assistance, she is looking for a permanent solution.
“It’s not a one-off,” she said. “This is every year.”
The problem is that snowmelt from fields to the west flows down and overwhelms the shallow ditch along the highway. The overflowing water then forks, with half of it flowing through her property.
Foisy believes a culvert should be installed to divert the flow and has spoken to County representatives about the issue.
However, the matter is complicated by the fact that Highway 642 is under provincial jurisdiction, with Alberta Transportation having the say over it.
She has also been in touch with the department, but says they are “not easy to deal with.”
Sturgeon County Councillor Neil Comeau expressed his concern about the situation.
“A permanent solution between the department of highways, the County and Deb is what is needed for all in this case,” he said. “Not just a short term solution that pushes the problem further down the line.”
In the meantime, Foisy hopes that things dry up enough for the opening of the greenhouse to go ahead as scheduled on April 26.