Thunder Bay mayor Keith Hobbs says the city must invest in long-term solutions to prevent future flooding.

During a media briefing Monday morning, the mayor said the city will need to "throw some big money at this issue."

Weather patterns have changed over the years, including increased rainfall and Thunder Bay's sewage and drainage system needs to be stronger to stand up to that, Hobbs added.

City manager Tim Commisso said he'll be making a number of recommendations to council at its June 25 meeting and said he will suggest three key actions:

  • Hire an independent engineering firm to assess the sewage plant and why it failed on May 28.
  • Re-evaluate the whole storm drainage system across the city — starting with the hardest hit areas of McKellar and Northwood.  That work will likely be contracted out as well.
  • Look at subsidies to help homeowners to flood-proof their homes and make sure they have effective drainage systems in place.  Officials will look to cities such as Toronto and Winnipeg that have already have residential flood prevention programs in place to figure out the best practices.