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Flooding in Canadian Rural Communities

Red River Floodway

Rural flooding occurs across Canada causing serious impacts on communities and creating the need for expenses to repair damages and to create defenses for future events. Projects and efforts following serious floods in recent years have greatly increased rural communities’ resiliency to flooding. Compared to city centres, rural areas tend to be remote and do not have the same financial or social capital available. As such, methods used in cities to mitigate floods cannot be applied to rural areas as these communities are unique and have their own needs and governance structures.

Spotlight Story: Windsor, Ontario

City of Windsor logo

Over the years, the City of Windsor has experienced serious floods due to heavy rainfall and as a result has implemented a variety of projects to mitigate flood risk. With a number of programs that offer residents important information and enable them to tackle flood risk, Windsor is developing into a city that is well-equipped for flooding.

Property-level flood defences and how they work

Small-scale dam on driveway

There are numerous defences available to prepare your home for floods. Solutions employed both inside or outside your house can be extremely useful in a flooding event and can greatly reduce the stress involved in managing flood risks and damages. These flood defences are often listed on municipal websites or in articles that cover flooding. As a homeowner, it may be useful or interesting to learn about their functions a bit more and how they work.

Spotlight Story: Dufferin County

Dufferin County logo

Located in Central Ontario, Dufferin County has experienced heavy pluvial flooding in recent years that led to local evacuations and washed out roads. To counter these flood risks, Dufferin County has established partnerships and reached out to the public to increase the community’s resilience to flooding.

Flooding in a Coastal Setting

Lighthouse on coast

As Canada’s coasts face a changing climate, coastal communities are tasked with dealing with the unique challenges of storm surges, erosion, and the ensuing floods. Flooding in these regions affects coastal resources that are used by communities and support local economies.

International Spotlight Story: Gloucestershire, United Kingdom

flooded street

The County of Gloucestershire is located along the River Severn in the South West of England. The county faced immense flooding in 2007 caused by serious rainfall. The ensuing damages reportedly cost £50 million. Since then, Gloucestershire has responded diligently and has developed multiple platforms to inform community members of their flood risk and available solutions.

Spotlight Story: Oakville, Ontario

Oakville Harbour

Situated along the shores of Lake Ontario, the Town of Oakville is taking strides to adapt to challenging floods while increasing community involvement. With several creek systems scattered across Oakville, many residential areas could be at risk of overland flooding.

Flood Insurance and Disaster Financial Assistance in Canada

Flooded house

Flood insurance, a relatively new option of flood recovery, is a proactive approach to preparing for floods. As more insurance companies introduce flood coverage options, homeowners have more solutions available and more reassurance when it comes to protecting homes. Alternatively, in the event of a large-scale natural disaster provincial and territorial governments across Canada provide financial relief through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA). It’s up to you, the homeowner, to research and learn what options are available after a flooding event.

Importance of Natural Infrastructure for Flood Mitigation

natural infrastructure

In a recent report, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) explored how natural infrastructure is playing an increasingly important role in flood prevention. As more development occurs, there is a clearing out of wetlands and natural areas causing limited options for water storage. This leaves communities vulnerable to the effects of major flooding.

Spotlight Story: Surrey, British Columbia

shoreline

Living along coastal waters highlights the need for direct action against flooding in the City of Surrey, British Columbia. City Councillor Mike Starchuck states that “we can’t afford not to do anything”, addressing the need to take immediate action to address flood resiliency in Surrey.

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