April 9, 2019 5:23 pm

After declaring climate emergency, Kingston city staff aim to prevent flooding

They used to be called once-in-a-century storms. But extreme weather is fast becoming the norm in this region. One of the biggest threats is caused by heavy, prolonged rain. As Paul Soucy reports, city officials are now looking at strategies to address persistent flooding of local streets.

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By declaring a climate emergency, city councillors have already pledged to make Kingston a leader in climate action. But some of the damage has already been done, as seen during significant rain events the past two summers — 2017 in particular.

Now, city staff are recommending a number of measures to prevent flooding at 10 flood-prone locations across Kingston.

“It will give staff guidance, and committee and council an understanding of what the priority areas are in the near term and what we’re working on to make improvements in those areas,” said Tyler Lasko, Kingston’s manager of design and development for engineering.   

READ MORE: Extreme rainstorm floods downtown Kingston

Those locations include:

  • Reddendale Area
  • King Street West (Beverley Street to Barrie Street) and Breakwater Park
  • Treasure Island (St. Lawrence Avenue)
  • Eunice Drive
  • Fairway Hill Crescent
  • Victoria Street (South of Princess Street)
  • Front Road (Near the Bridge)
  • John Counter Boulevard near the VIA train station
  • Dalton Avenue
  • Gardiners Road Underpass

WATCH: Now that Kingston has declared a climate emergency, what happens next?


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And while the areas in need of work have been identified, it’s not clear what work needs to be done at any of the locations. However, Lasko did mention that it could include work such as the installation of catch-basins or pipes along certain streets to help reduce flooding during heavy-rain events.

“There are approved funds in the current 2019 budget to do some of these works,” said Lasko. “And absolutely, every year thereafter there will continue to be requests for continued improvements to the storm-water and shoreline systems.”  

READ MORE: Much-loved Kingston record store reopens after major 2018 flooding

Part of the report that is heading to the Environment, Infrastructure and Transportation Policies Committee states that weather events like these will become more frequent as the climate continues to change, and that making changes sooner than later will make the city more resilient to changing weather patterns.

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