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Port Stanley News RSS Feed  Editorials Those Hidden Costs Of Flooding

by Doug Harvey
Those Hidden Costs Of Flooding

The winters come and go with every year being totally different from the one before. Snow accumulations in South western Ontario can vary considerably and are based upon the duration of below freezing weather that occurs during the season. Some years when this duration is short, ice is thin and any snow on the ground seems to melt off more often than stay, never causing too much concern. But some years this below freezing cold weather just stays cold for too long, the only reason I can think of is, maybe it's because it's winter. When the weather stays below freezing cold for longer periods, the results are simple, any snow accumulation just adds to a growing stationary snowpack, and any ice formed on open water just continues to get thicker.

Any issues that could develop in this frozen scenic winter landscape remains dormant until conditions are just right. With any sudden changes in weather to above freezing temperatures or rain can cause everything to change. The warmer it gets, or the more rain that falls over a short period of time can create a disaster. Ice breakup and associated ice jams by the thick ice and melting snowpack's will cause elevating water levels that will soon overwhelm any stream or river. We could now be having a major flood causing substantial damage along any local waterway.

After looking at some of the debris that gets washed away down stream, one has to wonder how all this stuff continues to get included in this almost annual event. Looking back through the years, I found out that a varying degree of these flood conditions occur in most winter or spring seasons, and there is even several reminders from the conservation groups advising to keep property up and out of the flood plain and low lying areas, including any docks, watercraft, vehicles, etc. So I can't imagine how people that live or have businesses in the flood plain or any low lying areas close to a waterway continue to build or keep property that will end up some day flowing downstream during a flood. Someone will eventually have to clean it up!

Last Updated: Monday, 29 January 2018 11:48:49 AM EST

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