Unlucky weather conditions blamed for spring flood disasters
Flooding in Huntsville, Spring 2019. (Patrick Grapes, MyMuskokaNow staff)
COTTAGE COUNTRY, ON – Human error and negligence are being ruled out in flood disasters earlier this year.
The Ontario government released its findings from an independent review of floods that caused millions in damages across Cottage Country during the spring.
Doug McNeil, Special Advisor on Flooding, was tasked by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to create the report.
McNeil said the flooding was a result of bad luck when it came to the weather. Unseasonably cold temperatures combined with higher-than-average snowpack, the lack of winter thaw, which quickly turned into a lot of rain leading to rapid snowmelt made the perfect recipe for disaster.
The advisor added that if residents, municipalities, damn owners and other agencies didn’t take the steps they did, the situation could have been much worse.
The province promised to take action towards preventing similar disasters in the future.
“The safety of the public and the protection of our communities is our number one priority,” John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry said.
Nine people were appointed to the Muskoka Watershed Advisory Group to help protect and support economic growth in the area. Ontario also gave out almost $4 million in flood relief to communities affected by the disasters.
The Green Stream fund was created, which allows smaller communities access to roughly $200 million of federal and provincial money to invest in critical water projects.