Flooding can have a devastating effect on families and their homes. Thornhill homeowners know this all too well. I remember the day on August 19, 2005, when upwards of 150 mm of rain fell in a three-hour afternoon deluge, an amount exceeded only by 1954's Hurricane Hazel. Like many in Thornhill, my basement filled with several inches of water. Others in our neighbourhood saw a foot or more in their homes and in some cases even into their cars.
Stormwater management involves storing and directing stormwater runoff to control flooding, erosion and water quality. Without it, runoff from urbanized areas would flood communities and roads, cause stream erosion and destroy aquatic habitat.
Thornhill’s pipes are old and small. The size of most of the storm sewers in Thornhill are designed to withstand the theoretically worst storm we could see on an average of once every 2 to 5 years. In newer areas of Markham and elsewhere, the standard flood protection is for storm sewers which have a capacity of 100 year threshold.
What have I done?
- As a Ratepayer President at the time, I was among the first who attended a community meeting at Bayview Glen Public School in the months following the flooding.
- In February, 2013 I was able to have a Resolution of Council passed which made the crucial funding of upgrading the stormwater system in Thornhill and throughout Markham a city-wide investment rather than a tax on just Thornhill residents. My Motion guaranteed that $2 million will be set aside annually for the next 5 years, from Federal Gas Tax, to be dedicated to funding this crucial project to keep our homes in Thornhill safe from flooding.
- Multiple stages of construction to upgrade the storm sewer system here in Thornhill have been completed. This is a multi-phase project spanning the next four years. This is important and necessary work.
What this means to you.
- An average savings of $282 for each Thornhill home. Thornhill homeowners could have been faced with a roughly $330 per year cost over the next 30 years (had this been a Thornhill-only levy), rather than approximately $48 per year.
- A vitally important investment in upgrading the stormwater infrastructure to protect your home and valued possessions from flooding.