RRCA advises public on flood preparedness

Alycia Douglass

Published on May 5, 2017

Expect flooding conditions.

©Kirk Starratt

CORNWALL, Ontario - With 30-50mm of rain expected to hit the area over the weekend, the Raisin Region Conservation Authority (RRCA) recently shared some helpful insight on the environmental impact of heavy rainfall and flood management.

RRCA Project Manager, Phil Barnes says that with this kind of downpour comes surface water runoff, which can cause problems like erosion. “With more water running off faster, sediments like dirt and debris are being carried off into rivers and streams,” said Barnes. “This not only makes the water murkier and more polluted, but it can put stress on aquatic habitats.”

Barnes says that when it comes to flooding, being proactive is key. Part of RRCA’s flood prevention initiative requires them to be very involved with municipal land development.

“Essentially, we help to protect the environment when a new development is being built to minimize the quantity and quality of the runoff,” said Barnes. “We try to make sure that the quantity of water isn’t more than before the development was built.”

Barnes says that the conservation authority also actively maps areas more susceptible to flooding in efforts to limit development in those areas.

“We have a pretty good idea of where the flooding will happen,” said Barnes. “Through the conservation authority’s flood plane management program, we’re able to forecast the potential effects and whether or not we’ll have to issue flood warnings.

Ultimately, Barnes says that people need to be aware of their own properties.

“We work on a macro level, and look at the region as a whole,” said Barnes. “It’s important that people check the points where storm water may come in.”