There is nothing the City can do to prevent flooding that occurred July 26 in Valleyview that caused heavy damage to a handful of businesses and homes, a senior administrator said Thursday.
"It (flash rains) far exceeded the design capacity of our system," said public works and utilities director David Duckworth.
"Things worked the way they're supposed to work."
The owner of James Western Star Sterling Ltd. estimated damage at more than $600,000. A handful of single-family homes as well as condominiums directly north of Valleyview secondary school were also hit.
Water was a metre deep at its worst in the localized area.
The City conducted an investigation to determine if any failures occurred on the system, which underwent a $300,000 upgrade in 2000 after similar events.
Duckworth said a rain gauge in the area points to at least a one in 50-year torrential rain. The City has sent that gauge to an independent contractor to verify its numbers.
"It doesn't matter where it would have occurred in the City, we would have had flooding - in this or any other city."
Curlew Place resident Maggie Knox said she doesn't yet know the total damages to her property. Her basement flooring and walls were severely damaged and are being replaced.
"Our big concern and our neighbours' on one side is they (City) put in some kind of drainage system so it won't happen again."
Knox said residents were hoping the City would come up with a plan to protect them from similar events in future.
Water is the leading cause of property damage in Canada, estimated at $1.7 billion a year.
The Canadian Insurance Bureau is encouraging municipalities to plan for more severe weather events due to increasing frequency.
But Duckworth said upgrades to handle last month's storm aren't realistic.
"You could probably build anything but you'd spend a gazillion dollars."
There is no direct help from government to stricken residents.
"Unfortunately it's between them and their insurance companies," Duckworth said. "Those companies will look and see if anyone's done anything wrong. If we were grossly negligent then we'd be liable."
Knox said she's talked both to neigbours who are insured, as she is, as well as those whose losses are not covered.