Comment 43048

By frank (registered) | Posted July 09, 2010 at 15:08:40

Jason it's not the only place that's flooding! Both the underpasses at Centennial and Kenilworth were also closed and there were significant problems on the QEW during the first outburst this week! Being a weather buff you ought to know that the intensities of the storms we've received of late are higher than they were previously. What people fail to understand is that just because something's called a "100 year storm" doesn't mean it comes every hundred years. The RHVP isn't perfect and if I'm not mistaken the design award wasn't for the parkway itself it was for the realignment of the creek proper.

Grates on the retention/detention ponds need to be changed and sprawl on the mountain needs to stop. Attempting to be objective, here's the problem as I see it: a roadway was designed in a river valley to handle a 100 year storm that historically may have been accurate however is no longer accurate. At the same time, our wonderful developers continued to pave over land to build more roadways and driveways and build more houses which in turn creates a far greater run off than before as can be seen by the huge rock that was moved during the first major storm last year.

Problems are these:

-the highway is in a flood basin

-the CN tracks cross the highway south of Barton and it's difficult to raise them. I believe the maximum grade is 1:18 and the rail line would likely need to be closed during construction however short that time may be.

-sprawl development creates higher flow rates downstream

-the grates over the outlets on the detention ponds are filled with debris that comes down over the escarpment and gets picked up because of high water levels.

Combine all these and you get a highway that floods during heavy storms.

Is there a solution? Perhaps - change the grates, improve water retention in developments on the mountain... changing the roadway elevation is highly unlikely because of logistical problems. It's also possible to create earth berms that can contain water as it rises higher...these are just less aesthetically pleasing.

Should this have been foreseen? Maybe - during the design phase climate change was already occurring and it could have been easy at that stage to over design the water retention systems. Stop building houses and roads - build up not out; increase the capacity of the same square footage without creating more storm run off. I believe the effects of development on the east mountain were underestimated.

Emotionally attacking a roadway just because you don't like it isn't logical - it clouds judgement. As far as giggling when it floods, I'd much rather laugh at the idiot who continues going 110 down the highway as they watch the river lap at the roadway fully expecting that his Bridgestones will save him from the idiot doing the same thing beside or behind him. Or the dummy that gets stuck trying to wade his car through over a foot of water in an underpass. Some peoples' level of idiocy never ceases to amaze me!

Edit: take a look at the rainfall amounts for the mountain areas: 50-75mm so far only today!

Comment edited by frank on 2010-07-09 14:56:00

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