City urges flood preparedness ahead of rainy forecast

Photo by Aleksey Malinovski.

The City of Kingston is urging residents who live in flood-prone areas to be prepared, as weather authorities are forecasting heavy rainfall for Kingston and the area.

According to the City, the Cataraqui Reion Conservation Authority does not expect widespread flooding at this time, but The Weather Network is forecasting 30 to 50 m of rain across southeastern Ontario and up to 60 mm for the areas near the east end of Lake Ontario. Environment Canada forecasts that rain to start Wednesday, Apr. 29, and last until Friday, May 1, 2020.

As such, Utilities Kingston would like to remind residents that every neighbourhood is at risk of basement flooding, even if flooding hasn’t occurred in the past.

“Don’t wait until it happens. If you live near water or in a low-lying area, it’s important to have a plan in place, so that you know what to do in the event the forecast indicates that flooding is a possibility. Spring is a wet season. Prepare yourselves and your property now,” said Brandi Timpson, Emergency Preparedness Manager with Utilities Kingston.

Utilities Kingston suggests watching the following links for flooding forecasts:

The City of Kingston and Utilities Kingston also offer the following flood-related resources:

  • The City’s Flooding page explains what to do before, during and after a flood.
  • The City’s Emergency Management page offers information on how to be prepared for risks facing the Kingston region – including extreme weather.
  • Utilities Kingston offers Flood Facts that explain how to reduce the likelihood of sewer back-ups and basement flooding in your neighbourhood. These include:
    • Checking your sump pump for proper operation and following the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations.
    • Checking your sanitary backwater valve, and operating and maintaining it according to the manufacturer’s directions. 
    • Ensuring your downspouts are clear of debris so water routes safely away. Clear a path for the water to run well away from the foundation, or consider an extra length of pipe.
    • Reducing your water use on rainy days. When it’s raining heavily, the sewers may fill up. Using a lot of water during heavy rains (for example, taking a shower or doing laundry) can contribute to basement flooding and overflows to your environment. Consider using less water in extreme weather situations.
    • If you know that a catch basin on your street is covered in debris, Utilities Kingston would appreciate if you could take some time to clear it. This will help make sure that rainwater can enter the storm sewer and promotes good drainage away from your neighbourhood.

What to do if you experience flooding

Entering a flooded basement could be hazardous!  When in doubt, don’t enter the flooded area until you are told it is safe by a qualified professional. Utilities Kingston offers instructions on what to do if your basement has flooded  Report your flood or backup using Utilities Kingston’s online reporting form or by calling them at 613-546-0000.

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