Fall is storm season and while the West Shore doesn’t bear the brunt of weather systems like the West Coast of the Island, we still tend to occasionally get walloped.
While last weekend’s blustery weather here may not have caused the damage predicted, the first combination of rain and high winds was a good reminder to be prepared for storms in the coming weeks, or any other emergency situation that could spring up.
Municipal staff stress this every year, but we still receive reports of flooding that could have been avoided. The City of Colwood, for example, has a list of problem areas that receive special attention before, during and after stormy weather. Before the rain and wind started in earnest last week, crews were working around the clock to keep the water moving. While municipal staff do their best to keep our roadways and storm drains clear, and water from finding its way into places it shouldn’t, there is only so much they can do, especially when Mother Nature has other plans in mind. There are limited staff and resources and they simply cannot be everywhere at once.
That’s where West Shore residents need to step up and take action. By keeping property drains and nearby catch basins or culverts clear, residents can help staffers spend more time where they are most needed. It is also important for property owners to regularly check that their gutter systems are draining properly. If too much water pools at the edge of the building, or drainage tiles are broken, this can cause your foundation to flood. If you can, make sure your gutters direct water away from your home or business and ideally into a flowerbed or rain garden.
But rain isn’t the only force West Shore residents have to deal with during storm season. High winds can also wreak havoc across the region, bringing trees down onto power lines and swirling leaves into piles that clog storm drains and catch basins.
It may not be your responsibility, but why not take a few minutes to clear those leaves away to allow for better flow? And while you’re out there, don’t forget about elderly neighbours or others in your neighbourhood who may need a hand doing the same.