Monday, December 26, 2011

Flood damage in a few Ontario towns exceeds $25 million

Monica Wolfson in the Windsor Star (Ontario): This year's heavy rainfall caused millions in property damage and has put pressure on area municipalities to address flooding issues.

At least $25 million in property damage was caused from flooding of almost 1,000 homes during six storms that were categorized as one in 100-year events. It was hard to avoid the rain and snow in 2011 - 1,542 millimetres of the wet stuff fell by Dec. 20. That's a 73 per cent increase over the norm of 892 millimetres.

"I think it was a combination of bad luck with storms stalled over Windsor," said David Phillips, senior climatologist with Environment Canada. "The frequency of storms (in the future) isn't so clear. But when it rains, it will be heavier amounts."

Heavy rainfall over short periods of time caused severe flooding in Amherstburg, South Windsor, Harrow, Belle River and Tecumseh this year. Municipalities have to think about fixing flood problems, which could cost at least $100 million, but also consider improving infrastructure. "You don't want to overreact and rejig criteria," said Tim Byrne, flood and erosion control officer with the Essex Region Conservation Authority. "But you have to pause and look at the areas affected."...

Pair of ducks swimming in Malden Park

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