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As climate changes, mayors discuss long-term plans for extreme weather

(Screengrab - video by NEWS 1130's Marcella Bernardo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – After a week of heavy rain and more in the forecast, mayors and councillors have been discussing how to deal with an increasing number of extreme weather events in our region.

Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart says the Metro Vancouver Council of Councils meeting has covered a wide range of issues, including a timely look at future storm drain and sewer upgrades.

“Let’s face it, the climate is changing and we’re expecting to continue to receive more unusual weather events, more extreme weather events over the course of a year,” Stewart says.

“Every community, I think, is trying to make their communities more resilient to those kinds of extreme weather events and that’s one of the challenges we’re dealing with, even today with Metro Vancouver mayors and councillors.

“Trying to make sure our community storm drains and sewer systems and water systems are resilient to the changing climate that we all have to adapt to.”

North Vancouver Mayor Darrell Mussatto says it’s about infrastructure, but also having the right plans and procedures.

“Councils will be looking at policies. Do we have the right policies set up for a rain event such as this, and so I think that’s something that’s ongoing with every municipal council and with Metro Vancouver.”

North Vancouver is typically one of the areas hardest hit by storms in our region.

“With climate change we’re getting more than we had planned in the past so we do have to oversize our storm drainage system to deal with future rain events such as this,” Mussatto says.

“We at Metro Vancouver are ensuring that we have the right storm drainage systems to capture these types of rain events and make sure that people aren’t injured. It’s something we’re aware of, we’re working with our engineers and our staff to ensure we have the right facilities and the right kinds of facilities for future rain events.”

Both mayors are urging people to help Councils by clearing leaves from on top of catch basins to prevent flooding, preferably before the downpours start.