Anniversary of the 2004 Flood

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Charlotte Street during the 2004 Flood

Peterborough, ON - On July 14 and 15, 2004, the City of Peterborough received up to 220 millimetres of rain in 9 hours. The resulting flooding was significant and led to substantial damage in various areas of the city. A changing climate is increasing the risk of similar events. In the past seventeen years our community has made substantial investment in its stormwater management infrastructure as part of multi-year flood reduction and climate adaptation programs.

The Central Area Flood Reduction project – one of the largest projects that came out of the studies that followed the 2004 flood – is currently underway with support from both the provincial and the federal governments. The project is building a massive underground culvert to divert potential flood water from Jackson Creek around the built-up downtown core. This key project will supplement the approximately 12,300 catch basins and manholes, 317 kilometres of storm sewers, 230 storm sewer outfalls and 34 stormwater management ponds the City owns and maintains as part of the community’s extensive stormwater management network.

The City of Peterborough designs and builds infrastructure to reduce the risk and damages caused by flooding. As part of the Flood Reduction Capital Program, the City has a list of over 100 potential flood reduction projects. While there are limits to engineered solutions, all these projects will better prepare the City for an uncertain future of climate change–induced rainfall trends.

Examples of recent Flood Reduction projects and maintenance programs include:

  • Replacing culverts on Armour Road, Caddy Street, and Tivey Street to reduce the risk of flooding in East City
  • Installing a large storm sewer system on Marina Boulevard that will capture major flood waters and divert it around at-risk properties
  • Regular flushing and cleaning of storm and sanitary systems to ensure they are ready when the next big rain comes
  • Helping homeowners with the cost of installing back flow valves, and disconnecting foundation drains and down spouts from our sanitary system to help prevent basement flooding
  • Conducting annual inspections and prioritizing the maintenance of storm water management ponds to ensure they are ready to hold back water during a large rainfall
  • Annual Oil and Grit Separator monitoring, inspection and maintenance
  • Retrofits to existing Stormwater Management facilities

Earlier this year, the City successfully secured funding from the National Disaster Mitigation Program for two additional projects:

  • the design of the Curtis Creek Channel Improvements to improve the ecological function of the watercourse and mitigate flood risk; and
  • the development of a storm sewer and flood risk model to identify properties at risk of flooding, further prioritize flood reduction measures and enhance the City’s emergency response to flooding.

“We all have a role to play in reducing flooding,” Mayor Diane Therrien said. “The City of Peterborough, in partnership with Peterborough GreenUP, has created a Rain Garden Subsidy program for qualifying residents in Peterborough to offset the cost of installing green infrastructure on private property. This is one way community members can help in flood reduction efforts.”

The Rain Garden Subsidy provides qualifying residents up to a $500 reimbursement towards a rain garden based on the volume of rainwater storage that the garden provides. For more information, please visit the City’s website at peterborough.ca/raingarden.

Protection and enhancement of watersheds and the water resource system, including surface water and groundwater features, is a priority action for the City.

The City is working to complete a foundational Watershed Plan in 2021. One of the many goals of the watershed plan is to minimize flood risk. This is especially important with climate change increasing the intensity and frequency of severe rainfall. Through the watershed planning process, the City will look to update its design standards to adapt to the climate change induced rainfall, focus on Low-Impact Development stormwater management, and apply greater emphasis on the protection and enhancement of our natural resources.

Residents can find more information on the community’s extensive stormwater management system and program at peterborough.ca/waterandsewers

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For additional information, members of the media are invited to contact the undersigned:

Brendan Wedley, Manager of Communication Services

City of Peterborough

705-742-7777 ext. 1636