By Ryan McGreal
Published July 09, 2010
Denial: It's not just a river in the Red Hill Valley.
I read this Spectator report on flooding on the RHVP with a little bit of schadenfreude but mostly just old-fashioned frustration.
We built a highway in an environmentally sensitive river basin and proceeded to pave over all the land at the top of the river that might otherwise absorb some of the storm water. What on earth were we expecting would happen?
Now city officials tell us, "flood-related closures of the parkway, such as the one that took place after Wednesday's rain, may become a feature of life for highway users."
The fun part now - and again, by "fun" I mean "depressing" - will be watching the blame game.
The engineers will argue they hit all the professional benchmarks based on the industry standard idea of the "hundred-year storm" (of which we've apparently had
three within the past year).
The planners will likewise indicate that they followed all the accepted best practices and met all the objectives to which council had directed them.
The consultants will note that they worked from the city's own criteria and point to staff and council signing off on their reports.
The politicians - if they acknowledge a problem at all - will insist that the standards were sound but the situation has changed and no one could possibly have anticipated that the climate would suddenly start changing with no advance warning.
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