By RTH Staff
Published May 02, 2012
this blog entry has been updated
Yesterday, Citizens at City Hall (CATCH) posted a sobering article on flooding in Hamilton and the link to climate change:
In the last eight years, the city has endured 17 rain storms severe enough to flood homes, at least six of which appear to have exceeded the once-in-50-year standard, including a100-year-plus deluge in July 2009 that damaged over 7000 homes and caused up to $300 million in insured losses alone. ...
[I]n addition to insured and uninsured costs to flooded residents, the 2009 downpour imposed an estimated $14 million in damages to municipally-owned properties including the Red Hill Parkway. And for all but one of the 17 storms, compassionate grants of $750 to $1000 have been issued to flooded residents - payouts that have now exceeded $5 million.
Trying to make Hamilton's infrastructure more resilient to climate change has eaten up a further $341 million since 2004 including what's budgeted to the end of 2014. The 2005-2009 period saw storm-related spending of $118.2 million, while that has nearly doubled in the subsequent five year budget to $223.7 million.
This Saturday, Hamilton350 is organizing a demonstration at the corner of King and James as part of a global day of action on climate change. Called 'Connect the Dots', the event seeks to highlight the link between the increasing frequency and severity of extreme weather events and global climate change.
Participants are asked to bring a black umbrella to represent the escalating public and private cost of climate change in Hamilton. The global 350.org climate change action group has released a video, titled "Things Happen", to promote the Connect the Dots campaign worldwide:
This coming Thursday morning, a group of local organizations including Hamilton 350, the Hamilton Conservation Authority, Environment Hamilton, Green Venture, the Council of Canadians - Hamilton Chapter, the City and the McMaster Centre for Climate Change are hosting a media conference on climate change in Hamilton to "provide information on the noteworthy effects of climate change already evident in the Hamilton area".
Update: be sure to check out part two of the CATCH report, which delves much more deeply into the financial costs of the 17 severe storms Hamilton has weathered in the past eight years.