We have known for over 50 years that the area around John Street, and on the other side of the river around the Town Dock, will flood. So with all this time to think and take action, why is it that no action has been taken? The businesses in that area have to resort to some sandbags and domestic sump pumps. With climate change, the problem will only get bigger.
John Street could have been built to be like a dyke, collecting storm drains to a sump fitted with some large low lift dewatering pumps so that the entire area never flooded again. The good folks in the army engineers at New Orleans could tell you exactly what to do here, probably their advice would be free.
Similarly, a relatively low but permanent concrete barrier along the front of the other stores could be built. Alternately the basements of these stores could be made such that a flood would not matter. Move the electrics out of harm’s way, make changes to plumbing if necessary and do not try to use this space for anything flood sensitive.
There could be an allowance in the tax assessments such that this space was not such a burden to the stores that they felt a need to try to utilize the space in the first place. These ideas are all relatively simple and cheap compared to the massive cost of rebuilding good old King William Street and Main Street.
As we all know our area dams are not primarily for “flood control” but maybe some could be modified to work better for this purpose? Maybe a few more dams could be added to the system for this reason and collectively this could help just a little bit so that the flooding was not quite so bad?
All the dams in the area could be fitted with some form of electric generation system. Don’t leave this to some small, poorly funded private organization with a cute name (I think it was Bullfrog Power that was looking at the Locks?). This could all be done properly by Hydro One or OPG. The plants could be modular, portable, quiet to operate and could be ultimately placed at almost every significant drop in elevation. I’m willing to bet that if this was done and properly connected to the grid we could generate quite a high percentage of the energy needed in our area with virtually no detrimental effects.
The plants could be decoratively hidden and most people would never even know they were there. The revenue could flow to the local and Provincial treasuries, thus reducing our taxes in the future and decreasing our carbon emissions.
As a country, we could do this. As a responsible country, we should be doing this. Instead of rinky-dink carbon-tax rebates that we all know are nothing more than a bribe for the vote at the next election, these carbon-tax funds could be put to better use making green, sustainable water-powered electricity. It does require good planning at every level and a long-term commitment, not a four-year election cycle.
Net and Virtual Net metered solar systems, being made much easier to have and connect to, would also have a good impact, although these would have nothing to do with flooding of course. We could do a lot better here too as a society.
Brian Tapley attended school at Port Cunnington, then Irwin Memorial in Dwight, then Huntsville High, and then Queen’s University, where he graduated 1973 as a Mechanical Engineer.
He worked for Kimberly-Clark for a short time before ‘retiring’ to help his aging parents run the family resort, Bondi Village Cottage Resort in Dwight.
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