Why do people build houses that get flooded?

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Glacier
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Why do people build houses that get flooded?

Post by Glacier »

Are people mentally incapacitated that they need to spend millions to see where the water flows? My parents have lived in the same area in the Cariboo for 50 years through many "flood" years, and not once has anyone ever had their place flooded that I can remember. Of course, it's a rural community, so they have more freedom as to where they build their homes, but it just seems really weird that people in the Okanagan aren't smart enough to think about flooding before buying property and building homes. In a rural community, you ask the locals first before buying a place if it floods. You don't ask lying scumbags or realtors (but I repeat myself). You ask the true experts, the people who already live there.

I guess I'm confused as to why in 2018 we are still having flooding issues. The places that flood are no mystery. The LiDAR mapping is only going to confirm what locals already know. A home is the most expensive thing you will ever buy, so why in 2018 are we still building where it floods? Furthermore, why do governments allow building on places prone to flooding? Also, why is insurance now offering flood insurance? I will never purchase such insurance because I did my homework, and I don't want to subsidize those who didn't.
dominik
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Re: Why do people build houses that get flooded?

Post by dominik »

While I agree with you to some extent you are missing a few points that play major roles here.

1) Flood Plains - Kelowna for example has a flood plain covering from mission creek all the way to downtown. Basically much of the flat area of Kelowna (however not all) was part of essentially what is now mission creek (this is partially why building large structures in Kelowna is so hard due to many underground rivers still flowing). Meaning that to avoid flooding we either have to implement more flood mitigation measures or accept that in essence flooding (especially with large volume snow melt events) will become more and more a reality.

2) Building homes - In reality homes which take less damage, through different construction methods, due to flooding exist. The caveat is that they are extremely expensive and uncommon for north america. Whilst in Europe they are quite common. We are dealing with cost factors here which would likely move the idea of home ownership out of most Canadian's minds... (nevermind our current housing situation)

3) Weather patterns change - Considering what we had last year was declared a "200 Year Event" it is easy to argue and hope it doesn't happen again or blame the powers that be for it to happen in the first place, but we have seen substantial changes in weather patterns in the Okanagan over the last 20 years, alone Vancouver saw a 2.5 degree increase in temperature over less than 10 years last summer.

We are seeing soil which primarily is silt and sand (very little solid earth) now being saturated and not being able to hold water (also due to the lack of trees and yes construction as well) causing landslides and rising water.

Currently we are dealing with a lot of these issues at the same time which creates a bit of a game of "dammed if you do, dammed if you don't".

The different municipalities and government are looking at a variety of ways to mitigate any further or more serious flooding, but the reality is that there is a lot of snow, and we can see the temperatures starting to shoot up pretty quickly right now, and we have a lot of burned forests (and developed land) putting us before a whole new challenge.

Sure we can complain, argue and play the blame game but the simple reality is; It really doesn't matter as nature currently is having different ideas. We can only prepare, adapt, mitigate, potentially prevent environmental disasters, but likely we should hope for "decent" mitigation which won't happen without everyone chipping in...

I can't blame the people living in flood plains, tornado alleys, or earthquake areas because in reality for many it isn't much of a choice, for those that it is well they tend to cry the loudest but may actually have the resources to deal with the fallout.
swamp1967
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Re: Why do people build houses that get flooded?

Post by swamp1967 »

Don't forget that government policy plays a big part in flooding. Through poor planning they allow homes to be built near areas like the mouth of Mission Creek. You also have changes in policy, such as when Mission Creek used to get dredged every 8 years and then they stopped 12 years ago. Preferring to react to disasters, rather than plan and prepare in advance.
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Fancy
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Re: Why do people build houses that get flooded?

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I was of the understanding dredging caused other problems.
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dominik
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Re: Why do people build houses that get flooded?

Post by dominik »

swamp1967 wrote:Don't forget that government policy plays a big part in flooding. Through poor planning they allow homes to be built near areas like the mouth of Mission Creek. You also have changes in policy, such as when Mission Creek used to get dredged every 8 years and then they stopped 12 years ago. Preferring to react to disasters, rather than plan and prepare in advance.


I don't think its preferring to react to disasters, but simply also the lack of will by the people to pay for it. Things have become much more expensive in that area. I am not saying that its not wrong but it definitely doesn't help.

The thing is we are seeing various new side effects occurring like sinkholes under docks, sudden erosion at beach front properties etc. Overall in the grand scheme of things fairly normal... Until we have a growing population which likes beachfront, or infrastructure near the beach. It is a fairly fragile environment to begin with so having issues in these "interface zones" isn't uncommon.
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Fancy
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Re: Why do people build houses that get flooded?

Post by Fancy »

Here is an an article about dredging in 2015.
https://www.dredgingtoday.com/2015/07/29/186642/
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Glacier
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Re: Why do people build houses that get flooded?

Post by Glacier »

dominik wrote:3) Weather patterns change - Considering what we had last year was declared a "200 Year Event"

We did NOT have a 200 year flood event last year. That's complete and utter Fake News!

Now, it is true that we are getting wetter over time, and getting more snow over time, so yes, there might be more flooding in the future, but still, the 1894 and 1948 floods are the worst on record. One should have at least planned to not build on the 1948 flood plain. Better yet, the 1894 level. It's just common sense.

95% of Kelowna will never flood. It's those less than 5% of homes built in flood prone areas that matter. It should not have been hard back in the day to make certain areas park so people don't build there. Even today, they should have severe restrictions on certain areas already private land.

The peak snowpack keeps getting bigger (even though Al Gore et al. say BC will run out of snow by 2012 or some such year)...

disappearingsnow.png
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Last edited by Glacier on Apr 11th, 2018, 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Fancy
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Re: Why do people build houses that get flooded?

Post by Fancy »

Last year there was more flooding than in 1994 in a lot of areas. People had fish in their backyards which was something new.
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brentville
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Re: Why do people build houses that get flooded?

Post by brentville »

People build beside creeks, river and lakes for the obvious lifestyle (you can legally drink a beer on the beach in Canada) and enjoyment of water related activities...it is a life essential and who doesn't have fond memories of lake/river activities?

Property that gets flooded due to Mother nature is between you, your insurance company or whatever deity you subscribe to.
However when someone screws with Mother nature by installation & operation of dams, such as the one controlling Okanagan Lake, it's between you and whoever operates the dam.

The Provincial Water Sustainability Act http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/14015#section29
covers responsibilities and obligations of dam operation, which I've also posted in another thread. "29(1) ...must exercise reasonable care to avoid damaging land, works, trees or other property of another person...". The Province operates the Penticton dam and is fully aware that weather is NOT predictable and screwing with lake levels may flood property. The Province was fully aware of both these risks yet proceeded to screw with the flood gates anyway. According to the Act, they are liable for ALL flood damages and not just Municipal damages which are covered by the Province.

Look at the elevation of the lake on this date last year from the Water Office reports = 1.7 meters
http://www.oklst.com/2017Flood/lakelevel_2017.jpg
Now look at today's elevation reading = 1.22 meters
http://www.oklst.com/2017Flood/lakelevel_2018.jpg
480 mm higher on this date last year.

The Ministry of Forests predicted a drought last year and in anticipation of this, raised the lake level 400+ mm
If they hadn't been anticipating a drought the the lake would not only have been 480 mm lower but the flood gates would have been draining to get down to 1.00 Instead they allowed the lake level to gain all it could.

Why do people build houses that get flooded?
People assume those responsible for looking after their interests and property will do so in a responsible manner!
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Re: Why do people build houses that get flooded?

Post by Steve-O »

Hindsights 20/20.
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brentville
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Re: Why do people build houses that get flooded?

Post by brentville »

Steve-O wrote:Hindsights 20/20.

Yes, we can all predict the weather the day after...CHBC always gets that part right...lol.
I sure miss Mike Roberts!
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kgcayenne
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Re: Why do people build houses that get flooded?

Post by kgcayenne »

It's like someone says "I'm building my house in this hole, nothing bad will ever happen, and if it does, someone else has to look after it for me."
"without knowledge, he multiplies mere words."
Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your kids.
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brentville
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Re: Why do people build houses that get flooded?

Post by brentville »

kgcayenne wrote:It's like someone says "I'm building my house in this hole, nothing bad will ever happen, and if it does, someone else has to look after it for me."


First, Building codes must be met before you can build your home (even in a hole). New riparian regulations don't allow homes to be constructed within 30 meters of a body of water. If your home was constructed before this came into effect it does not mean it's illegal. These homes met code before and still do as regulations are NOT retroactive!!!!!

I take it you know little of the legalities so look at your home insurance policy very closely or ask your agent...
Lightening happens and is considered an "Act of God" so if your home is damaged by lightening, you are NOT covered.
However, if that in-turn catches your home on fire, the fire damage is covered even though God started it.

"nothing bad will ever happen, and if it does, someone else has to look after it for me"
Can you not see that it all depends upon the circumstances?
If God damages you, take it up with him/her.
If another party had a hand in it....they are likely at fault.

The Ministry went into this with "eyes open". They knew weather is unpredictable and altering natural lake levels could cause upstream flooding. Knowing full well of these dangers, they took it upon themselves to put others at risk anyway. These actions constitute a "lack of duty of care" which is lesson one in tort law. Try google!
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kgcayenne
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Re: Why do people build houses that get flooded?

Post by kgcayenne »

Cant a girl be a smartaahhhhs anymore?
"without knowledge, he multiplies mere words."
Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your kids.
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brentville
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Re: Why do people build houses that get flooded?

Post by brentville »

kgcayenne wrote:Cant a girl be a smartaahhhhs anymore?

Of course you can :130:
However, those directly affected may not see this is a subject lending itself to humour.

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