Reevely: Flood-proofing Ottawa won’t be cheap
Ottawa Citizen

By David Reevely, Ottawa Citizen, August 28, 2017

Cleaning up the messes from last spring’s floods here is costing millions of dollars, which gives us a clue to just how expensive it will be to prepare Ottawa for decades of more severe weather than we’ve been used to.

Land-use planners typically plan construction and drainage to withstand once-in-a-century water. They painstakingly map out the floodplains around rivers and nobody’s supposed to build on them. Ottawa’s spring inundation was a trifle compared with what’s happening in Houston, roughly a once-in-50-years flood rather than the 500-year flood Texas is facing. But cities like Ottawa have old neighbourhoods we didn’t build to modern standards or with modern data. Parts of New Edinburgh and Old Ottawa South would be underwater in 100-year floods. So would most of Constance Bay.

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