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The Hamilton Spectator
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Thursday July 15, 2010
The city has admitted it needs to review how it responds to flooding on the Red Hill Valley Parkway after the latest of four heavy rainfalls in less than a year put motorists' lives at risk.

The admission comes after Ron Sheckenberger, the project manager of the parkway drainage system from AMEC Earth and Environmental, said both police and the city should have acted on contingency plans sooner.

Vehicles crashed and frightened drivers hydroplaned into drenched ditches after severe flooding on the highway on July 9. There were no serious injuries but 15 directly related crashes on highway on-off ramps that day. It was the second time in a week and the fourth in less than a year that rain overwhelmed the highway's controversial stormwater management system.

Sheckenberger said it "was not up to me to lay blame," but added that had the authorities acted sooner, hydroplaning and 15 crashes would not have occurred.

Red flags were also raised after Environment Canada said the downpour was not the one in 100-year storm the parkway was built to withstand, but rather a one in two -year storm.

Meaning rather than dealing with the tiny possibility of a hundred year storm yearly, the authorities may have to make plans to deal with more flooding events each year.

Sheckenberger said the expressway has controlled access gates that can be shut down by police during flooding.

"There are some contingencies that should have been acted on sooner," he said. "Had the flooding been seen sooner, the gates would have been shut sooner and you wouldn't have had cars in that risk area. Continued...

Repeat flooding forces city to review Red Hill drainage
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