Sackville is at risk of coastal flooding from the Bay of Fundy and potential dyke breaches, and flooding from intense rainstorms and snow melts. The community has already seen numerous floods from rainstorms which have made roads impassable for days and flooded basements. The dykes near Sackville have overtopped by 1 to 2 cm during intense coastal storms.
1. Reduce flood risk at home, work and in the community
Floods can happen at any time of year but if we are prepared, it is less stressful. Homeowners and businesses can follow the tips below.
Tips for Reducing Flood Risk at Home and Work
- Store important and hazardous items up high where they won’t get damaged.
- Elevate furnaces, hot water heaters and electrical panels.
- Anchor fuel tanks to the ground so they can’t float, tip over and leak out.
- Make sure vents and fill lines for oil tanks are above flood levels.
- Install a sump pump if appropriate for your home.
- Install a sewer backflow valve if you are on municipal sewer system.
- Install a water alarm to let you know if there is water in your basement.
- Ensure proper grading around your home.
- Keep eaves, storm drains and culverts free of debris.
- Patch cracks in foundation.
- Seal leaks around windows.
- Extend downspouts at least 6 feet away from home foundation.
- In winter, clear snow away from foundation.
- Separate sewer and storm drains.
- Use a rain barrel to collect runoff.
- Reduce runoff by planting rain gardens.
- Plant more trees and perennials and have less lawn.
- Reduce hard surfaces such as concrete pathways and paved driveways.
Find more tips for reducing flood risk at: flood-prep-brochure
Beyond household level actions, a community program to organize flood risk reduction home assessments could be organized by a local environmental organization and/or local area plumbers. Assessment advisors could help homeowners identify potential flood risks (for example, cracks in foundations, improper landscape grading, missing downspout extensions, etc.) and suggest solutions. Another community level effort could be to design and build additional naturalized stormwater retention ponds to complement the Lorne St. pond built by the Town of Sackville. Opportunities exist at the former site of the Pickard Quarry. Additional sites could be identified especially though a natural asset inventory. Landowners with larger properties could also build naturalized stormwater retention ponds and look to potentially partner with Ducks Unlimited Canada to restore sites to wetlands.
2. Retreat, relocate, build back better
Sea level rise may mean that some communities will need to retreat from low-lying areas. Storm surges and coastal erosion will impact more properties and buildings in the next years. Some areas may need to be abandoned. The topic of relocation is a tricky one, fraught with emotion and high costs. As a community, we need to think long-term about what the future could bring and how to avoid devastating emergencies. With long-term planning, residents and businesses can choose not to develop in flood zones. Current land use regulations make some developments in such areas difficult already. Sackville is fortunate to have upland areas within its town limits. When there is the opportunity, we could choose to build better – not building a basement, building on posts, building on higher ground, and relocating away from the coast.
Continue reading: Emergency Planning