Updated 2019 04 19, to add links to related articles.
Southern Alberta still flooding, 2013 06 22 — Today’s Edmonton Journal has extensive coverage of the flooding in Southern Alberta, and, of course, as one would expect, the politicians of all parties as well as NGOs, especially the environmentalist kind, are weighing in with their opinions on how such things are “the new norm”, a “911 call” and more. (Photos of the Southern Alberta flooding: Calgary)
They say that all of the flooding is “the new norm” and imply that the Government (that is, other taxpayers) must take care of the consequences, first and foremost prevention of re-occurrences.
Well, the only thing that is really new about any of this is that people have lost the common sense that once-upon-a-time kept them away from precarious construction sites, and that now a lot of construction takes place in locations that always were and always will remain at risk of being flooded.
The Edmonton Journal carries an article on “Province urged to limit development near rivers”, much like the ones one could read after the previous flood of similar magnitude that no one did anything about to prevent such damage from re-occurring. (Page A8, lower right-hand corner, not on the Internet)
Robert Sandford, the Canadian Chair of the “United Nations Water for Life Decade” stated, “I regret to say that this is not something that we can just simply dismiss as an extremely rare event.”
Well, the article contains much more along those lines, and much about how recommendations for flood prevention and mitigation were ignored after 2005. Prevention of floods is impossible, but prevention of flood damages is another thing.
The most practical suggestion (or is that really what it is?) was made by Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffith, who observed that the Redford government has been working on implementing the recommendations [of the plan that had been ignored for many years after the 2005 flooding], but it hasn’t yet taken a hard stance on banning construction in flood plains.
Right, and why hasn’t the Province done that? Many millions of dollars in flood damage due to this year’s flooding would have been prevented if that would have been done.
If you wish to keep your feet dry, stay out of the water. Furthermore, if you wish to prevent your home, warehouse, factory, stadium or road from being submerged or washed away through flood water, don’t locate them on land at risk of being flooded. Anyone who hasn’t got enough common sense to stay dry should not complain about having his property wrecked by flood water.
Much of the land and real estate in Calgary and the other localities damaged by the current flooding is located in the riparian zones of rivers that run through the alluvial plain of the Rocky Mountains. Those rivers do not only flood often, but they can even be expected change course. That is the nature of the riparian zones of rivers in alluvial plains.
You may ask why government officials don’t prohibit construction in such precarious locations, but ask yourself how all those boulders and the gravel that you wish to build on and that is in some places covered by water-deposited silt got to where they are.
Buyer beware, and forget about why the government doesn’t warn anyone off or prevent him from losing his shirt by getting washed out eventually. Stay out of risky places and build on high, dry ground. If you feel compelled to build close to the water but hope to minimize damages to your property, then at least build on pilings that will elevate what you wish to build above the highest flood-water levels to be expected. Just make sure that the pilings are deep and strong enough, so that the flood waters that will most certainly come cannot wash them away.
- Property in flood-prone areas of Alberta
- The exploding population of Ross Snow Geese
- Rising sea levels could wipe entire nations off face of Earth
- Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming? Aliens?
- Wind turbines are truly “green”?