Montreal is not properly prepared for floods shows report

Published: September 29, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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A report from the Montreal Metropolitan Community (MMC) suggests that the Montreal region is not properly prepared for floods and preparation is uncoordinated.

In its report, MMC looked at how 24 municipalities handled floods that it the city area during this spring. Firstly, the results show that water levels surpassed expectations, a trend that has also been observed in Ontario this year. MMC says poor data resulted in the failure to predict water levels.

The company says monitoring models for forecasting water levels did not account for heavier rain and high-level snowmelt. Climate change is blamed for these, and MMC says the models failed to account for this.

Municipalities are also failing to account for changes in the landscape along waterways.

“It’s not surprising to me that different communities have different parameters to evaluate flood zones,” Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough mayor and MMC urban planning committee member Jim Beis said in an interview with CBC.

“We’re evaluating how data is collected so we can standardise across all communities… we’re still in preliminary stages.”

The report also points a finger at the provincial government for not paying enough attention to flood planning and instead placing more responsibility on municipalities.

“The province should take a front seat in this analysis, to assist the communities,” Beis said. “We can’t spot fix these situations and expect them to not occur downriver.”