Local greenhouse owner looking for permanent solution on flooding

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.

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    • Lindsay Hartsook we tried as well when Millennium homes was running all their excess water over to our land. There was a new culvert in under the road so all their water shunted over to our piece of land. We asked the county to remove an non-functional approach or put a proper culvert in at the corner and scrape the ditch so the water could follow to the highway ditch where it flowed naturally with the existing drainage. They did absolutely nothing, and our local MP at the time also did absolutely nothing. Rural people are always on their own it seems.

  1. Someone behind us changed their yard and all the water now run into mine. I have to pump my backyard every spring. I’ve called multiple times and nothing can be done except I have to regrade my entire yard. I still can’t understand how this is fair.

  2. I know nothing about farms and culverts but if you dug a trench around your property like the farms run through their fields …. could this possibly help the situation?

    • David, This year the county was proactive for us at our shop. Please don’t paint the whole county with the same brush.

    • The existing culverts are not frozen, one is 2 feet too high, thankfully that will be replaced with an intersection upgrade that’s happening with the new Grain terminal just north of me.

    • It’s spring in Albert for Ded’s greenhouse it’s always been low spot that piece of properties always hold water in the spring

  3. Sturgeon county wake up, put a. Culvert across the range road in your jurisdiction to get the water to the other side. I pointed this out last year!

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