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Perceptions of Urban Flooding in Peterborough, Ontario Dan Sandink, Research Coordinator, ICLR Dan Shrubsole, Professor and Chair, Department of Geography,

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Presentation on theme: "Perceptions of Urban Flooding in Peterborough, Ontario Dan Sandink, Research Coordinator, ICLR Dan Shrubsole, Professor and Chair, Department of Geography,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Perceptions of Urban Flooding in Peterborough, Ontario Dan Sandink, Research Coordinator, ICLR Dan Shrubsole, Professor and Chair, Department of Geography, UWO 4 th International Symposium on Flood Defence May 6, 2008

2 Introduction n Introduction – Flood Management n Perception Studies n Case Study n Methods n Results n Conclusions

3 Adjustments to Flooding n Range of adjustments: u Structural Adjustments F Prevent losses through modification of watercourses F Dams, floodwalls, levees, etc. u Non-structural adjustments F Modify use of floodplains (affect human behaviour) F Flood mapping, land use planning, insurance, etc. F Reduce, redistribute losses, prevent losses F Education, property-level adjustments u Do nothing, accept losses

4 Urban Flood Adjustments – Property Level n Adjustments that reduce risk of damages from overland flows, infiltration flooding and sewer backup u Eavestrough extensions u Proper backfilling u Lot grading u Disconnecting downspouts u Disconnecting foundation drains u Reducing property at risk n Adjustments that reduce risk of overland flood damage u Window wells, water proof windows and doors (i.e. “dry flood proofing”) – generally, above-grade adjustments n Factors that reduce sewer backup risk u Backwater valves

5 Cost-Sharing n Cost-sharing – non-risk reducing adjustment n Insurance generally not available for overland flood damages to private homes n Sewer backup generally available through a separate endorsement u Premiums usually based on historical occurrence of sewer backup, risk area

6 Cost-Sharing n Government disaster assistance u DFAA – Federal u Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program - ODRAP (and similar provincial level programs) n Share costs with taxpayers u ODRAP F 90% of assessed replacement value of essential items F Fridge, stove, primary residence, wardrobe, etc. F NOT non-essential furniture in basements, high-end electronics, etc.

7 Perception and Behaviour Studies

8 Purpose of Perception Studies n Effectiveness of non-structural adjustments partly depends on hazard perception u Non-structural mechanisms affect behavior u Behaviour is dependent on perception

9 Hazard Perceptions n Frequent hazard denial, denigration u “It won’t happen here” u Perception of 1 in 100 year storm, “gambler’s fallacy” n Infrequent adoption of risk reducing adjustments u More likely to take non-risk reducing adjustments F Cheap, easy to employ Bollens et al., 1988; Burton et al., 1993; 1978; 1968; Kates, 1962; Kreutzwiser et al., 1994; Laska, 1986; McPherson & Saarinen, 1977; Shrubsole et al., 1997; Wong & Zhao, 2001; Yoshida & Deyle, 2005

10 Hazard Perceptions n Preference for structural adjustments u Belief that governments are responsible for flood prevention u Preference to continue to live in hazard prone areas, but be protected by structures F Dams, dykes, flood walls, sewer systems, etc. u Lack of understanding of non-structural adjustments n Little information regarding perception of gov’t relief and insurance in disaster situations Bollens et al., 1988; Burton et al., 1993; 1978; 1968; Kates, 1962; Kreutzwiser et al., 1994; Laska, 1986; McPherson & Saarinen, 1977; Shrubsole et al., 1997; Wong & Zhao, 2001; Yoshida & Deyle, 2005

11 Factors Affecting Perception n Hazard experience u Generally accepted as most powerful influence u Severity of experience u Frequency of experience n Length of time lived in community n Socioeconomics sometimes a factor Burton & Kates, 1964; Burton et al., 1978; Burton et al., 1968; Kates, 1962; Kreutzwiser et al., 1994; McPherson & Saarinen, 1977; Parker & Penning- Roswell, 1982; Payne & Pigram, 1981; Penning-Roswell, 1976; Schiff, 1977

12 Factors Affecting Behaviour n Hazard experience u May increase or decrease mitigative behaviour – depends on nature of experience n Perception of hazard u Risk – recurrence in the future, severity of damages u Past experience – severity of damages, emotional stress n Education programs – depends on nature of program n Awareness of available actions Burton & Kates, 1964; Burton et al., 1978; Burton et al., 1968; Kates, 1962; Kreutzwiser et al., 1994; McPherson & Saarinen, 1977; Parker & Penning- Roswell, 1982; Payne & Pigram, 1981; Penning-Roswell, 1976; Schiff, 1977

13 Perception of Natural vs. Technological Hazards n Forces of nature, “Acts of God” n Humans have limited control n Have occurred throughout the history of humankind n Caused by human-made systems n Systems not designed to fail n Humans had control n Point of blame Baum et al., 1983; Burton et al., 1993; Zeigler et al., 1983 Natural Technological Overland FloodingSewer Backup

14 Peterborough Case Study

15 Peterborough n Historical occurrences of urban flooding u 1980, 1996, 2002, 2004 u 1 in 100 year event in 2002

16 Peterborough 2004 n July 14-15, 2004 n Approximately 8,000 homeowner ODRAP and Insurance claims n Many businesses affected

17 Extreme Rainfall n Unprecedented since recording began in 1866 n mm over July 14-15, depending on location within the city n Trent University: 239 mm, 3X normal rainfall for entire month of July ( ) n Rainfall in days preceding extreme event, saturating soil Klassen & Seifert, 2006

18 Peterborough, 2004 n Overland flow routes did not efficiently direct flows to the storm sewer system u Lack of curbs, not enough catch basins, catch basins clogged with debris (major system) n Inappropriate lot grading n Many pipes not designed to current 5-year standard u 80% of analyzed storm pipes met 2-year standard n Development in the floodplain UMA, 2005

19 Sewer Backup n Infiltration and Inflow u Damaged pipes, inflow through manholes, etc. u Legal connection of foundation drains to sanitary sewer until 1991 u Downspout connections to sanitary sewer n On July 15, 5 times normal flows at sewage treatment plant Klassen & Seifert, 2006; UMA, 2005

20 Cost Sharing n Insurance u 5154 insurance payouts u $87 M u Average ~$17,000 per payout u 4573 payouts for sewer backup damages n ODRAP u 2783 claims paid to private homeowners u $5.8 M for homeowners u Average ~$2,000 per homeowner u Total: $25 M for all damages

21 Methods

22 Questionnaires & Interviews n Peterborough u Survey – 750 self administered F Differentiated based on location in defined floodplain u 76 responses F 58 sewer backup F 46 overland flood u Confidential interviews F 14 professionals and experts from various sectors

23 Results

24 Peterborough n 89% OF, 90% SB respondents unaware of risk when they moved into their home u Many flooded homes were not in floodplain n 61% of overland flood respondents perceived hazard recurrence n 59% of sewer backup respondents perceived hazard recurrence u Expert respondents perceived recurrence

25 Damages Type of Damage Experienced % of respondents Structural damage to home 27% Personal property73% Irreplaceable items58% Mould29% Type of Damage Experienced % of respondents Structural damage to home 31% Personal property97% Irreplaceable items72% Mould43% Overland FloodSewer Backup

26 Sewer Backup Adjustments Sewer Backup Mitigation Adjustments

27 Overland Flood Adjustments Overland Flood Mitigation Adjustments

28 Resident’s AOR Attribution of Responsibility

29 Expert vs. Resident AOR, SB Attribution of Responsibility

30 Expert vs. Resident AOR, OF Attribution of Responsibility

31 Peterborough AdjustmentRank Maintenance, increasing sewer system capacity 1 Improve overland drainage 2 Retain natural formations to control high water 3 Regulate new development 4 Structural controls on overland water courses 5 AdjustmentRank Maintenance, increasing sewer system capacity 1 Regulate new development 2 Retain natural formations to control high water 3 Flood proof homes (including backwater valves) 4 Public education about sewer backup 5 Overland FloodSewer Backup

32 ODRAP n Positive perceptions u People had enough time to apply u Forms easily understood, easy to fill out n Negative perceptions u Few people felt well informed of the ODRAP process u Perception that ODRAP should cover total cost u Overall, lean toward dissatisfaction

33 Insurance n Some dissatisfaction u 59% of claimants feared cancellation n Open-ended responses reporting confusion/anger over lack of coverage for overland flooding, capping of payouts for sewer backup damage

34 Insurance n General satisfaction with insurance in Peterborough u Enough $ to cover damages u Customer service u Fairly priced sewer backup coverage u In very few cases, insurance covered damages from overland flooding

35 Conclusions

36 n Respondents have similar perceptions, responses to hazards u Recurrence, adoption of adjustments, perception of adjustments n Attribution of responsibility u Differs depending on type of hazard experienced

37 Conclusions n Responsibility placed on municipality u Perception that gov’t should cover all uninsured damages n Reliance on municipality for implementing sewer system improvements u Short- and medium-term adjustments necessary, as infrastructure improvements completed over long- term u Property-level actions important part of the overall system

38 Conclusions n Mould u Frequent reports of mould damage u Implications for recovery education n Insurance u Discontinuation of insurance u Capping insurance payouts F Transfer burden/increase reliance on government relief programs u A role for education/encouragement of risk-reducing adjustments (e.g. backwater valves) u Awareness of water damage coverage

39 Thank You Dan Sandink, M.A. Research Coordinator Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction


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