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The 2014 Burlington floods sparked climate change plans for the city

Thursday, August 4th 2022, 5:20 am - On this day in weather history, Burlington, Ontario flooded.

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.


On Monday, August 4, 2014, a storm flooded Burlington, Ontario. The storm flooded highways, roads, buildings, and more than 3,000 homes.

Burlington, Ontario - Courtesy TWN Burlington, Ontario. Courtesy of TWN

At 2 p.m., it started to pour over areas of Southern Ontario, including Burlington. The rain only lasted for a few minutes but then started again between 3 and 7 p.m. Overall, the storm brought as much as 192 mm of rain to areas of the city.

*Burlington, Ontario. Courtesy of TWN Burlington, Ontario. Courtesy of TWN

The day after the storm, staff from Conservation Halton started field investigations in flood-affected areas. The findings showed that the areas of Burlington where flood plain planning policies were enacted during development, were the least impacted by the extreme weather.

These flood-protected areas were predominantly developed after the mid-1970s. They were not as impacted by flood damage and erosion compared to areas that were developed before the policies.

*Burlington, Ontario. Courtesy of TWN Burlington, Ontario. Courtesy of TWN

After the flood, the city continued to review its policies, emergency preparedness, and response to climate change. Short-duration storms are popping up more frequently — including rain, wind, and ice events.

On April 23, 2019, the City of Burlington passed a motion to announce a climate change emergency. The motion includes the development of a Climate Action Plan, Corporate Energy Management Plan, and Storm Water Design Standards and Urban Forest Management Plan. The city has also set out to be net carbon neutral by 2040.

To learn more about the 2018 Burlington floods, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

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