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Thread: C of E Flood Predictions

  1. #1

    Default C of E Flood Predictions

    City of Edmonton says no to releasing neighbourhood flood predictions.

    “It’s climate change that’s causing a lot of these problems,” said Mack. “These raging cloud bursts that we get and all the sudden dump a ton of water and our infrastructure just wasn’t built for that climate. Huge problem.”
    http://edmontonjournal.com/news/loca...od-predictions

    (highlighted by me)

    C of E does not want to release flood warning predictions in case it effects house values in vulnerable areas etc.
    The issue I have with this is the knee jerk reaction is to blame this on climate change. Most cities are concrete jungles. It's all the concrete poured in cities that cause a lot of the problems when there is a exceptional downpour. All this concrete is a major cause of flash flooding. To blatantly call in due to climate change is bogus. Soil/wood/park settings tend to absorb and handle downpours a lot better than huge swaths of areas with concrete all over. Concrete tends to funnel water and shed it a lot faster than natural means that's what causes the problems. Not necessarily climate change.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

  2. #2

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    ^ I think they should release such data. Already I am paying a higher home insurance rate, since the year before, due to previous flooding in Alberta, despite the safety of my location. A friend at Sherwood Park had the same hike from a different insurer.

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    You know what drives me freaking nuts these days? Anytime there's a bout of hot weather or cold weather, a "polar vortex", a generic flood, a flash flood in the desert that has occurred for hundreds of years, a pineapple express, some sh1tty hail that damages houses and cars, a crappy drought, a sort of drought, anything more or less than average...

    ... is because of global warming. I think we have forgotten that climate and weather is dynamic, mostly ruled by that big yellow ball in the sky.

    For all the believers, don't ever read the climate history books of the last few thousand years (and especially the last 500 that are quite accurate, yes, even before the evilZ Industrial Revolution).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitlope View Post
    You know what drives me freaking nuts these days? Anytime there's a bout of hot weather or cold weather, a "polar vortex", a generic flood, a flash flood in the desert that has occurred for hundreds of years, a pineapple express, some sh1tty hail that damages houses and cars, a crappy drought, a sort of drought, anything more or less than average...
    ... is quickly followed by insurances companies' own flash floods of jacked up premiums for everybody and anybody.
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    Funny you mention insurance companies. Because they certainly believe in climate change, it's impact on freak weather and the resulting increases in claims.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/insu...lity-1.3323132

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/repor...5331/?page=all

  6. #6

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    ^its an excuse to rack up premiums / increase profits. The bigger the disasters that will supposedly happen, the more money they make if they can use evidence to build a bigger fund. Take for example the Calgary flood. Yes, its a once in a 100 year event - with or without climate change it happens every 100 years or so, so its not an indication of anything. But, there is nothing to indicate its going to happen more or less than that in the future. Doesn't mean it wont happen again this month, and then maybe not again for 300 years, that's the way stats work, you have to look over thousands of years. Insurance companies don't typically have that horizon.

    They should be doing pretty well right now, hasn't been a devastating hurricane hit the US in some time, this decade is on track to be the lowest in a hundred years.
    Last edited by moahunter; 25-04-2016 at 11:19 AM.

  7. #7

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    Insurance companies usually stack everything in their favour. Scare people enough with the worse case scenarios and they can jack the premiums up with impunity. Global warming, another excuse to tell the masses the sky is fallen.
    Floods in big cities are due to concrete ground cover and lack of adequate drainage. I can see in the future cities adding a new tax on property bills to mitigate the problem. Then a double whammy on your home insurance as the insurance companies will convince mortgage companies that its a necessity.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Funny you mention insurance companies. Because they certainly believe in climate change, it's impact on freak weather and the resulting increases in claims.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/insu...lity-1.3323132

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/repor...5331/?page=all
    It is funny though their belief wasn't priced in until they incur a cost. A flood in Calgary and they had to pay. No worries, everyone else NOW pays for that cost.

  9. #9

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    ^Agreed. Isn't it funny we aren't getting discounts for less hurricanes in the US? Seems when "climate change" is favorable they conveniently ignore it...

  10. #10
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    They really should tell us. Homeowners can do a lot to mitigate risks if they know the risk is there.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    They really should tell us. Homeowners can do a lot to mitigate risks if they know the risk is there.
    This.

    Unbelievable that a legit cause for discussion related to COE immediately turns into a conspiracy thread.

  12. #12

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    One of the reasons C of E does not want to release the data is they think it will effect were people buy houses. If you see an area that C of E says is likely to flood you may be put of buying in that area. They do not want house prices to be effected. They could start sending out pamphlets telling people how to grade their property and where their downspouts should be placed etc. how to build an ark etc.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by smithereens View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    They really should tell us. Homeowners can do a lot to mitigate risks if they know the risk is there.
    This.

    Unbelievable that a legit cause for discussion related to COE immediately turns into a conspiracy thread.
    What 'conspiracy' is highlander talking about. There is absolutely nothing in his post that suggests that.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by smithereens View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    They really should tell us. Homeowners can do a lot to mitigate risks if they know the risk is there.
    This.

    Unbelievable that a legit cause for discussion related to COE immediately turns into a conspiracy thread.
    What 'conspiracy' is highlander talking about. There is absolutely nothing in his post that suggests that.
    Was referring to almost everything other than highlander's comment. (I agree with highlander)

  15. #15

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    ^Obviously you did not read the original Journal article cited.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    One of the reasons C of E does not want to release the data is they think it will effect were people buy houses. If you see an area that C of E says is likely to flood you may be put of buying in that area. They do not want house prices to be effected. They could start sending out pamphlets telling people how to grade their property and where their downspouts should be placed etc. how to build an ark etc.
    I think what they are probably more afraid of, just guessing, is that they approved some land for development that has high flood risk - i.e. that potentially they could get sued. Also, if they say something is high flood risk, when its not, could a home owner sue them for reduced property prices? Not sure.

  17. #17

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    ^Well, I don't think they can guarantee what is not a flood risk. Never say never.
    Then again, people in Calgary that got flooded a couple of years back are rebuilding where the city is saying there property is at risk for re-flooding.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

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    While the neighbourhood maps may not be available (they should be - what happened to open data), this might be helpful:

    The Alberta Flood Hazard Mapping Application

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    Edmonton has very few residential areas that are at any major flood risk and they're all pretty obvious. This is about flood risks from the very rare massive rain dumps. I can see the bind the City is in as if people take the data as evidence of something that would happen frequently, which they will, then it could unfairly drop property values. On the other hand if someone's house floods and they don't have the proper insurance, that's bad news too.

    Personally I think it's reasonable for the City to hold it back and homeowners should do some research and be aware of the risks their homes might have. Even just watching what happens in more common heavy rains and extrapolating could give you an idea of your risks.

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    There is no excuse for not releasing this information. The city and the province both release 100 year flood lines, this is really no different.

    Except of course the issue isn't "natural watercourses", it's inadequate municipal infrastructure that's the city's responsibility to mitigate/fix. Not releasing the information isn't for individual homeowner protection (present or future) of assets or values, it's to protect the city from as much pressure and liability as possible.

    If I were a homeowner and didn't know the risks, I would be requesting the information on a freedom of information request based on being denied access to information that would potentially allow me to mitigate my exposure and potential loss (back flow preventers, water alarms, not using basement spaces for storage etc.). Hopefully someone will do this on a class action basis so those that can't afford it will still be able to get the same information that will allow them to make the same choices and pursue the same options.

    And the sooner this happens the better because the city is only betting other people's money without their knowledge by not immediately releasing this kind of information.

    They release it for increased fire risk from long fire truck response times, low water pressure risk requiring booster pumps for sprinkler systems, potential exposure to hazardous materials etc. already - this should be no different.
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    The city will release the maps, just when all of the area studies are complete at the end of the year. Tecnically the work is in draft form and its prudent to hold back the info until all the analysis is finished.

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    Quote Originally Posted by knowitall View Post
    The city will release the maps, just when all of the area studies are complete at the end of the year. Tecnically the work is in draft form and its prudent to hold back the info until all the analysis is finished.
    that's not what was reported although it would be an improvement on what was reported:

    "They started the mapping effort in fall 2014, when it took the Journal more than a month of lobbying just to get a map of which neighbourhoods would be studied first. At that time, officials said they didn’t know how the information would be released. Now Wyman says they’ll develop a plan this summer. By the end of 2017, all maps for vulnerable areas and a prioritization of solutions should be complete.

    "To share information with neighbourhoods in 2018, they’ll likely use techniques piloted in Mill Woods, where a committee of local residents follows the project in depth to offer advice and help spread information in the community, said Wyman."
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    At least they should ban basements in the most flood prone areas.

  24. #24

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    Some interesting comments in this article about flood mapping etc


    Houston Flooding: Why Didn't City Evacuate? - CityLab

    https://www.citylab.com/transportati...-wasnt/538026/



    And in this article about paving over everything;

    Houston floods: What other cities can learn from Hurricane Harvey | CTV News

    http://www.ctvnews.ca/mobile/sci-tec...rned-1.3566629

  25. #25

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    I seen a guy of a U S TV news show talking about Houston and how it was paved. He said that a lot of the areas flooded were just about all concrete and the water was have trouble running off. He also said that there are a lot of areas that are build on clay and it does not help. He said maybe they should be looking at better drainage to try to alleviate some of the problems. They may flood but maybe try to get the run off gone faster. Also said was that for every degree the earth warms it causes 17% more precipitation. More moisture in the air more chances of flash flooding etc.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini
    Also said was that for every degree the earth warms it causes 17% more precipitation.


    For every degree C increase, the atmosphere can hold 7% more moisture (not 17%). But that doesn't necessarily mean that precipitation increases by that amount. See here:
    https://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/faq-3-2.html

    a well-established physical law (the Clausius-Clapeyron relation) determines that the water-holding capacity of the atmosphere increases by about 7% for every 1°C rise in temperature

  27. #27

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    ^^ That doesn't make much difference. Even good soil isn't going to be absorbing more than a couple inches a day, and they got 30" plus. Development in Houston has supposedly destroyed 4 billion gallons of holding capacity - this storm has dropped over 15 TRILLION gallons - it's a drop in the bucket.

    That they developed neighbourhoods apparently inside the flood rim of reservoirs and along flood paths has added a lot more to the destruction than impervious paving has.

    Maybe in a normal storm it's enough to have a real impact, but this was no normal storm.
    There can only be one.

  28. #28

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    Who knew that paving over a downstream floodplain with half of the world's rainfall records would be so bad?
    I feel in no way entitled to your opinion...

  29. #29

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    Some saying that the floods in Texas were from the biggest rainfall in history. Nobody has a crystal ball to see into the future but I wonder if it is worth starting to build house on stilts. Put the garages as first floor then build the house above. That way any flood would cause the least damage. Same for apartments, ground floor parking and suites above.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

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    They do that along the Gulf Coast itself, the Bolivar Peninsula "east" of Galveston was hit by Hurricane Jerry in 1989, some rebuilding of houses happened, then it got hit super hard by Hurricane Ike in 2008

    You can see the one house standing from Ike was on stilts...

    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/323203710728610471/

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    Here's a topographic map of Edmonton:

    http://en-ca.topographic-map.com/pla...monton-155971/
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    Global published this story if Harvey hit Canada, unfortunately they didn't exactly factor in drainage, and the surface area of Toronto vs. Houston area, the reader comments tell a way more accurate story than the article does.
    http://globalnews.ca/news/3703254/hu...ties-rainfall/

    Edmonton for the most part is fine, if we don't build houses in the river valley or former swamps. But unfortunately the city and developers want to build everywhere even when they shouldn't

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