‘This is my home’: Elgin’s Maple Grove Park’s water, power restored after 26 hours

Carie Sutcliffe, president of the homeowners’ association at the Maple Grove Park in Elgin, has been working tirelessly to help other homeowners since their power was cut by Hydro One. She’s joined by other homeowners Sue and Sheryl on June 26, about two hours before the owner returned. – Laurie Weir photo

Water and power to 18 mobile homes in Maple Grove Park in Elgin has been restored after a fretful 26 hours.

There are 32 people who live in the park, and Carie Sutcliffe is the president of the homeowners’ association. The power was cut early Tuesday by Hydro One for an unpaid bill, she said.

Sutcliffe welcomed Brockvilleist to her place on Wednesday, June 26, around 11 a.m. They had been without power since 9:45 a.m. June 25. It was restored around 12:45 p.m. today (June 26).

“At 5 a.m. this morning, the landlord messaged … saying he paid the bill and it was going to be turned on within the hour,” Sutcliffe said, while sitting on her front deck with other homeowners from the park.

“It’s long past that time now. I just got off the phone from MPP Steve Clark’s office to see what they can do – if they can do anything.”

Sutcliffe had been on the phone trying to find solutions for the residents since they lost their power and water. Many residents aren’t mobile themselves, so getting to the Elgin Community Hall to use the facilities or to fill water bottles has been an issue. She was hoping to secure some portable toilets if needed.

The Ministry of the Environment Conservation and Parks has been called, Sutcliffe said, as there is an issue with the sewage backing up.

There is currently a boil water advisory in place, Shellee Fournier, chief administrative officer in Rideau Lakes Township, told this publication.

“We are keeping the Elgin Community Hall open so residents can go in and fill up (water) containers,” she said. “The (Lanark, Leeds Grenville) health unit and the ministry (MOEP) are requiring that two water samples be completed and that’s currently happening. When two have come back saying the water is OK to drink, then they will lift the advisory.”

The homeowners are hoping changes will be made in the park.

“We have pride in ownership,” said Sue, who has lived here for 24 years. “This is my home. I haven’t had much sleep since we lost power.”

Homeowners Sue, Sheryl, Carie and Adam, live in Maple Grove Park in Elgin. They were without power and water for 26 hours June 25/26. They won’t be able to drink the tap water for several days, despite having power and water restored. – Laurie Weir photo

Sue said they had visions of the ice storm in 1998, when they used plastic bags in their toilets then disposed of the waste during trash pickup – but now they have to haul the garbage to Halladay Street as the township trucks don’t come into the park anymore.

For Sheryl, she has lived 14 years at Maple Grove Park.

They said it was a great place to live when the Gordaniers owned it, and the laundromat and carwash were bringing in a great business, she noted. Both are now closed.

The roadways are atrocious, with potholes that cars get lost in. Adam, a newcomer to the area, can attest to this, as his vehicle needs some repairs.

Rideau Lakes Township staff stepped up and into action, Fournier said.

“I think a number of agencies jumped on board really quickly,” she said. “It goes to show you how we can all work together. We had the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville’s social services programs that were made available to the residents, and we contacted them and they were very helpful with the residents in terms of what their options were. The Ministry of Environment and the Public Health Unit were also involved. With the counties, the township and these two agencies all coming together, we were able to provide solutions and resources for our vulnerable residents.”

When asked about help fixing the potholes on the roads in the park, Fournier said it was the purview of the owner of this private property to update them.

“We did step in because we don’t want our township residents having to go through this and we’re using what resources and advocacy we have to find assistance in that regard,” she said.

Fournier noted there is a silver lining to this situation.

“It’s bringing attention that it requires a lot of improvement there. Hopefully between the agencies and the owner, the residents have gotten some attention to things that they have to have looked at.”

When reached for a comment following the return of power, Sutcliff said she was relieved, but they can’t drink the water yet.

“It will be about three or four days before the tests come back from the Ministry of Health,” she said, and they will be on bottled water for a while.


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