The area is not without means — and ways — to combat these issues. But it has to plan smarter and be fully aware of the strategies and programs in place to help. Storm damage is controllable and containable to a degree. Smart planners, environmental groups and geologists have talked about these strategies for years — but it is incumbent on localities and, in some cases, the state and federal government to implement them. They include:
- Removing storm debris that can block creeks, streams and other waterways. Failing to do so could make the damage from the next storm worse; excess water needs a place to go, preferably to larger waterways and other places that can absorb runoff.
- Establishing stronger buffers along streams and wetlands. Development along these fragile bodies of water makes it difficult for them to handle the downpours that occur during big storms.
- Taking regional approaches to flood prevention. Simply put, water doesn’t care about political boundaries. Controlling flooding simply can’t be done on a town-by-town basis.
- Saving farmland and open space. Development will continue to occur, especially once the economy gets moving again. That is to be expected and should be embraced. But there has to be a balance by strategically saving lands that will do the most good to preserve farming and help mitigate flooding....