EDITORIAL: Area flooding good reminder for West Shore

Flooding a harsh reminder to residents to be prepared for what could come

Last weekend’s heavy rains around the West Shore, Capital Region and Pacific Northwest were a sign that fall is officially here.

This weather slap in the face forced many people to take fast action. Overburdened storm drains and catch basins all over the region, clogged largely by leaves blown down by accompanying heavy winds, overflowed with the amount of rain that fell in a relatively short period of time Friday and Saturday.

Flooding of everything from basements and storefronts to parking lots and streets – even a senior’s home in Colwood was evacuated as a result – left residents, business owners and staff, and emergency responders working to avert further disaster.

On the one hand, we were pretty lucky on the West Shore; things could have been much worse. We’re fortunate, for example, that our region doesn’t find itself bracing every year for a river that overflows its banks due to winter runoff.

On the other hand, the weekend storm was a sign that we have officially entered the rainy season in Greater Victoria and we need to be proactive as a way to avert flood situations.

With many trees still having not lost all their leaves yet, homeowners, stratas, commercial property managers and anyone else looking after homes or buildings can help. Not only can everyone keep an eye out by regularly raking leaves away from drain areas – bagging them for later pickup or dropoff is a good plan – double-checking to ensure that catch basins on your property are free of blockages goes a long way toward preventing flood situations.

While our municipalities are technically responsible for maintenance on storm drains on the edge of the roadways, whether or not curb and gutter exists, take a moment while doing yard work to brush away leaves around the storm drains nearest our properties. It could potentially save a lot of work later this fall.

Bright, sunny skies returned to the region early this week, but as we all know, that’s only a prelude to more heavy rain.