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Five Canadian cities tearing up asphalt to help reduce flash-flooding risk

OTTAWA — They paved paradise, and put up a flood zone.

TO flood

A woman gets gets back in her car in flood water during a storm in Toronto on July 8, 2013. Photograph by: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn , Postmedia News

Five cities across Canada will see some of their asphalt torn up and replaced with porous brick and gravel this summer to help mitigate the flash flooding that frequently follows extreme rainfall.

Modern cities are ever more sheathed in concrete and pavement, sealing off the absorbent ground and leaving heavy rain with nowhere to go — except basements, subway tunnels and underground corridors.

Last year, Calgary and Toronto homeowners and businesses were hit with severe flooding that was aggravated by sealed topsoil that could not absorb the sudden influx of water, costing billions in damages.

The University of Waterloo, Ont., and insurer Intact Financial Corp. announced a 20-project initiative today aimed at helping communities better survive the extreme weather that is the inevitable result of climate change.

The so-called “Depave Paradise” pilot projects are set for Calgary and the Ontario communities of Mississauga, Peterborough, Kingston and Ottawa.

The projects in five provinces range from construction of so-called bio-swales — which work as temporary holding tanks for excessive rainfall — to restoring urban wetlands, to carrying out home audits in Calgary so owners can flood-proof their properties.

Read the full article here.

 

 

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