It’s an annual battle in some areas across Canada. As warmer weather melts the winter snowpack combined with spring rains, flooding can be either a little problem or a major disaster in many regions of Canada..
When it becomes a serious issue, it inevitably requires the help of emerency staff and volunteers.
This year however, with the restraints of COVID-19, the drain on human resources and requirements for social distancing, many areas are concerned about how they might combat flooding.
Then there’s the question of how to house people if major evacuations are needed, again as social distancing is required so traditional evacuation centres cannot be set up.
Last year for example the city of Ottawa relied on help from some 15,000 volunteers, in such tasks as filling and placing sandbags, helping out at evacuation centres and other tasks involved in dealing with flooding.
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan would be ready to help in a disaster situation if needed.
Most flood prone areas say this year they are prepared, or preparing, and say so far the weather across the country has been cooperating.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada has noted that in recent years flood damage has been the biggest area of claims. It also notes that many home insurance policies do not carry flood damage insurance, but that now overland flood insurance and sewer backup insurance is available from some insurers. The IBC also advocates for a “National Action Plan on Flooding which would include investment in infrastructure to protect communities from floods (and wildfire), along with better flood mapping.
- Insurance Business: L Adriano: Apr 14/20 IBC urges public to prepare for flood season amid COVID-19
- Canadian Press: (via Global): L Berthiaume: Apr 6/20: NDP says COVID-19 distracting from northern Ontario FIrst Nations flooding plight
- CBC: K Molina: Apr 12/20: Ottawa River residents prepare for floods, this time without volunteers
- Canadian Press (via PostMedia): Mar 31/20: Manitoba preparing if flooding should come during COVID-19
- Canadian Press (via Global): L.Osman: Mar 28/20: Canadian regions prepare to fight flooding amid COVID-19