Saturday, March 12, 2011

Finnish town is making preparations against the risk of flooding as sea levels rise

Helsingen Sanomat (Finland): As the weather gradually warms up, minds are turning to the vexed question of where exactly the snow is going to go when it melts - there is so much of it that already people are talking of the risk of flooding on a massive scale, even in locations that are normally spared an inundation each spring.

In the Greater Helsinki area, local authorities are looking still further ahead: precautions are to be taken against potential floods caused by climate change and an impending rise in sea level. In the City of Espoo, the first district to be subject to such measures is Perkkaa, where an office building accommodating 1,000 employees is in the construction stage.

According to plans, as many as 3,000 residences could also be built in the area. In the future, water could flood into the plots both from sea and land. Perkka abuts onto the north end of Laajalahti, a large bay exposed to southerly winds. The Monikonpuro brook streaming through the area also collects rainwater, thus increasing volumes of water.

“As a rule, it is likely that when the sea is raging, it is also raining heavily”, describes project architect Lotta Kari-Pasonen, responsible for town planning in the area. To be on the safe side, it will be taken into account that the surface of the water could rise up to three metres above normal. According to Kari-Pasonen, the channel of Monikonpuro has to be widened and terraced. ”The flood waters will have to be directed away from the green areas in order that they can stay dry”, Kari-Pasonen argues….

Aerial view of Kivenlahti, Espoo, Finland, shot by Ville Mustonen, under the Creative CommonsAttribution 3.0 Unported license

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