A consulting firm is in the final stages of preparing a computer model that is expected to be used to gauge the impact a massive rainstorm had on the city two years ago.
While the immediate effect was fairly evident - more than 250 basements in the city were flooded out in what has been described as a 50-year storm - officials with the city want to know the specifics of how Cornwall's storm sewer system managed the runoff, and where it may have come up short.
Stephen Wintle, the city's division manager of infrastructure planning, told Seaway News in an interview a draft report on the computer model results is expected in the next couple of months.
The reason for such a long turnaround time lies in the intricacies of the city's massive sewer system and programming all that information into a computer model.
But Wintle is confident the model will provide the city with some answers about what the storm sewer system will need moving forward - if anything.
"We can use the model to try some alternative scenarios - what-if scenarios," said Wintle. "It's about trying to help you know what you are looking for.
"We want to make the system stronger."
But there are no plans, yet, to take the results of the model and begin requesting money from city council to complete system upgrades.
"It's a little premature for that," said Wintle - though there is the potential for capital improvement requests to surface to address storm sewer shortcomings. "We're hopeful there will be some recommendations on capital improvements to strengthen the system."
The 50-year storm that drenched the city on the evening Sept. 10, 2010 saw a whopping seven centimetres of rain fall on Cornwall in just a few hours. The result was surface-area flooding, most notably over the banks of the South Branch of the Raisin River and Boals Drain.
Due to the intensity of the storm, some of the city's pumping stations and sewer mains were overburdened with the amount of rain and were forced to operate over their capacity limits. City staff supplemented pumping capacity where possible in an effort to return the system to normal operation.