Weekend storms show cracks in Manitoba infrastructure
Province needs to prepare for more intense weather, expert says
Manitoba can expect more storms similar to what we had this weekend, but it's ill-prepared for that, according to one expert.
Southern Manitoba saw more than 100 millimetres of rain in some areas, flooding underpasses and swamping sewer systems.
"What we're seeing now are very intense cloudbursts of the type that you just experienced and often those are hard to prepare for and really hard to predict except on a very, very late notice," Sandford said.
"We have been observing the hydroclimatic conditions in Manitoba very carefully and we were concerned in 2011 when the major flooding occurred that the province had passed over an invisible threshold into a new hydroclimatic regime where flooding events would be more intense, where rainfalls would be perhaps fewer, but far more intense," Sandford said.
Studies have shown, according to Sandford, temperatures for the Canadian prairies are expected to increase between six and eight degrees Celsius because of global warming.
For every one degree Celsius increase in temperature, the atmosphere is capable of carrying seven per cent more moisture, Sandford said.
Sandford spoke in Winnipeg this past spring about the issues of climate change and infrastructure.
Sandford admits fixing those issues will cost billions of dollars, but he said government and individuals have to do what they can to anticipate such storms and prepare.
He said homeowners need to protect themselves by improving drainage and installing sewer back-up valves.