Dale Bass – Kamloops This Week
Statistics show storms that hit Kamloops are increasing in intensity — and work is underway to assess how the physical infrastructure created to handle water is responding.
Jonathan Welke, the city’s drainage engineer, said data has been collected for years at a weather station at Kamloops Airport and has shown the intensity and duration of storms has been growing.
“This matches the anecdotal evidence we also have,” Welke said, adding work is underway to develop a strategy to adapt to storms like the one that flooded Westsyde last month and one in mid-July last year that, in just 25 minutes, overwhelmed drains and led to water and debris scattered throughout the city.
Tom Pypker, who teaches in the natural-resources science department at Thompson Rivers University, agreed with the conjecture.
“We should anticipate this will continue,” he said, noting even the once-in-100-years storm reference “is all based on old climate realities.”
While he hasn’t studied the same data, Pypker said current scientific models, coupled with the changing climates, also indicate there will be more intense storms broken up by longer periods of dryness.
Blame it on Mother Nature.
Throw in climate change and the fact new developments alter the contours of the land and those one-in-100-year storms that have hit Kamloops three years in a row can wreak havoc.