GTA city joins fight against climate change with new project
Saturday, August 6, 2016, 2:53 PM - The city of Burlington and Ontario are joining forces in the battle against climate change by launching a two-year pilot project designed to reduce the risk of basement flooding from severe storms.
Officials made the announcement on Friday at Burlington City Hall as the city marked the second anniversary of devastating floods that damaged over 3,000 homes on Aug. 4, 2014.
Two months of rain (more than 190 mm) fell in just eight hours in some parts of Burlington, resulting in $90 million worth of insured damages. Mayor Rick Goldring compared the intense rainfall to 1954's hurricane Hazel.
About 4,000 homes in the city will be assessed under a Home Adaption Assessment Program (HAAP) designed by the University of Waterloo's Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation by the end of 2017. Each house will be analyzed to determine the vulnerability to severe flooding and homeowners will be given recommendations to prevent flood damage. The goal is to have 500 homes completed by the end of the year.
Ontario is providing $237,000 to fund the project with another $50,000 from the city of Burlington.
Each assessment will take about two hours and will cost anywhere between $125 to $275. Officials say the average homeowner can carry out about three-quarters of the recommendations themselves.
While the program will be offered to specific neighbourhoods, others who wish to have the assessment done will be taken into consideration.
“Burlington is effectively the anchor city for rolling out this program, which will go then to Ontario, and then from Ontario to Canada," Dr. Blair Feltmate, head of the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation told the Burlington Post. "It’s the way we have to go because I can tell you, quite frankly, we’re not going backwards on climate change. The extremes of weather we’ve experienced to date pale in comparison to the extremes that are coming."
HAAP developers hope to expand the project across the province and eventually across the country.
SOURCE: Burlington Post