April 21, 2024

La Ronge Northerner

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Preparing for the flood: “$2 billion, it’s just the beginning”

Preparing for the flood: “$2 billion, it’s just the beginning”

A National Risk Profile report released Thursday by the federal government says 80% of Canadian cities are in flood zones, raising the question: Are we adequately prepared for floods?

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Yannick Emond, professor of resilience, risk and disasters at UQAM’s Department of Geography, believes that Quebec is in a good position, but it still needs to improve in the next few years.

“It’s very difficult to prepare for it, and overall we have a good level of preparation in Quebec, but we can always do better,” he said. To that end, we need to spend the next few years thinking about, among other things, changing our behavior.

The expert explains that not only areas that are considered flood prone are prone to flooding.

“When we say we are not in a flood zone, we have built safety infrastructure in some places like famous dams, which means that when it comes to doing risk assessments, the risk of flooding is very low. “We say we’re not in a flood zone, but we are,” he says.

“We built a moat to protect ourselves, and if the dyke in something like Boy-Saint-Paul gave way, we would encounter neighborhoods that wouldn’t normally be flooded, but that was because it gave way,” the expert says.

The opinion of the latter is that it is necessary to adjust the investments in the coming years.

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Municipalities are asking the government for $2 billion over five years.

“The professor shares that two billion would be just a start. It’s not accepted, but we know it will cost a lot. By 2050, 216 million people in the world will be internally displaced, so many people will be displaced in Canada.

Apart from floods, other extreme events are expected to increase.

“For example, we should expect extreme events like winter blizzards,” he says. We will also have oppressive heat. We know that days above 30 degrees will be even more. By 2050, the year is expected to have more than 70 days. And with the ground movement, the flood, we have to be careful.

Watch the full interview in the video above