MVCA manages flood waters after heavy rain - March 1, 2018
BY DENNY SCOTT
While flood waters across the province may have claimed one life and caused significant damage to infrastructure, northern Huron County has escaped the worst of the damage, despite extremely high volumes of water moving through the area.
The flood was a once-in-20-year flood according to Maitland Valley Conservation Authority Flood and Erosion Safety Services Co-ordinator Steve Jackson, however he said it may be time to revisit those classifications.
“We have those kinds of statistics, but, with global warming, these floods are happening more often than they should,” he said.
When comparing to past flood events, Jackson said this caused the second-highest water per cubic metre levels through the Benmiller area since the MVCA started recording those statistics more than 30 years ago.
“The water was moving through Benmiller at 920 cubic metres per second,” he said, saying that peak was reached at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22. “The only other time we've had that much water flowing through there was in 2008 when it was recorded at 953 cubic meters per second.”
Jackson said that normal February weather usually has Benmiller witnessing the water moving at 55 cubic metres per second, so the increase was substantial.
“Fortunately for this area, the little ice jamming we had eroded quickly,” Jackson said. “There has been no significant damages reported thus far.”
While much of the snow pack has been lost with the thaw and that could result in less danger of flooding as warmer weather moves in, Jackson said there are no guarantees and that, with rain falling on frozen ground, there still could be flooding.
“It limits flood possibility,” he said. “There is still a risk, however.”
Floods have hit other parts of the province hard, causing a young boy near Orangeville to be swept out of his mother’s arms on Wednesday, Feb. 22.
Three-year-old Kaden Young fell in the flood waters of the Grand River near his home when his mother tried to escape the family’s minivan with him in her arms.
The search for Young continued to early this week.
The City of Brantford, 100 kilometres away from Orangeville and also on the Grand River, declared a state of emergency and evacuated low-lying areas due to the flood waters. Reports indicate that 2,200 homes were evacuated, displacing approximately 5,500 people.
Other cities closed roads as ice and water flooded over infrastructure.
For the most up-to-date flood information in this area, visit mvca.on.ca