Flood-control measures approved for Rennie’s River

Daniel
Daniel MacEachern
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The City of St. John’s plans to spend $5.3 million on flood protection measures for Rennie’s River.
“While it did take some time, we have before us a very extensive, comprehensive report that will take some time to digest when you get into the specifics of the report,” said Coun. Jonathan Galgay, chairman of the city’s public works committee.
The approved im-provements include weirs and berms in the neighbourhood, and erosion control measures for the banks of the river.

Coun. Bernard Davis said Rennie’s River-area residents have suffered flooding for years.

“Since 2000 in particular, whenever we have heavy rainfall, they tend to have flooding occur here,” he said. “Over the next number of years, we’re going to be working very hard to fill the problems and identify the solutions in the report. Obviously there’s a price tag associated with that, but we’re going to move as fast as we can with that.”

Davis noted the study is the result of a meeting held by the residents two years ago to discuss the flooding problems.

“I’d like to thank the residents that called this meeting as well as former councillor (Debbie) Hanlon, who was involved as well at that point,” said Davis. “I’m happy for the residents, many of whom are in attendance here today, and have worked hard and shown great patience as we work through this study, and it’s a long time coming for a lot of them. I know if it was my property, I’d feel the same way they do.”

The first step, said Davis — who said he expects city staff to get to work as quickly as possible on the project — is the installation of a weir at the outlet of Long Pond.

“This will allow further implementation of the other recommendations downstream, and the installation of this weir will help reduce the flooding potential for the residents, and this weir will better allow the holding and release of excess water.”

Coun. Dave Lane, chairman of the city’s environmental advisory committee, said the plan makes effective use of natural flood defences.

“The thing with Long Pond is it’s a just wetland … so there’s a lot of backup potential there without causing flooding, and that has to do with the way we’ve set up our zoning and regulations, so that we sustain our natural wetlands and waterways, so that we can avoid and work around the challenges that come with natural disasters.”

dmaceachern@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @TelegramDaniel

Geographic location: Long Pond

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  • Dan F
    May 28, 2014 - 14:00

    “The thing with Long Pond is it’s a just wetland … " I think it is much more complex than this. And hopefully they think upstream of Long Pond as well, the flooding is not caused by the pond, it is caused by all the development in the headwaters upstream "Since 2000 in particular...". For those wondering, the headwaters really don't exist any more, all those streams upstream of Long Pond and the associated hydrology is impacted by the new housing developments way up Kenmount past the mall and then by the Kelsey Drive developments, and then again by the O'Learybusiness park, where much of Leary's Brook (which flows into Long Pond) had been put underground, particularly upstream and at the Avalon Mall. Leary's Brook flows under the Avalon Mall before flowing into Long Pond. Not much space there is it? All the water normally retained in the headwaters has been displaced by poorly designed and rampant development and it is sent downstream to Rennie's River in floods. I hope they put at least this enough thought into their flood control plan.

  • JEROME
    May 27, 2014 - 08:46

    For $5.3 million , why don't they just buy out the houses affected, and let it revert back to natural habitat and nature will take care of the flooding and we will have more green space. Will this weir work , I guess we will find out after they have wasted more money.

  • Carole burden
    May 26, 2014 - 21:18

    When is the city going to spend money on repaving our streets. Our streets are not fit to put a car on. I am embarrassed for visitors to come to our beautiful city. Three years in a row Portugal Cove Road has been dug up. Where is the planning!!!!! Time to put in tolls at entrances to our city. All of the U.S.A. does it and their highways are perfect.