Letters, Sept. 2


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Shorter blasts of rain to blame In Detailing city downpour (Letters, Aug. 25), Jay Anderson suggests the Aug. 21 rainstorm in Winnipeg might be merely a five-year event rather than a 100-year event.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 02/09/2014 (2901 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Shorter blasts of rain to blame

In Detailing city downpour (Letters, Aug. 25), Jay Anderson suggests the Aug. 21 rainstorm in Winnipeg might be merely a five-year event rather than a 100-year event.

His analysis is based on a review of storms with a 24-hour duration; unfortunately, this is not the duration that is most relevant to flooding problems in the city.

The storm analysis produced by the city showed that during a 24-hour period, the Aug. 21 storm was about a 10-year event. The reason it was reported as a 100-year storm is that for durations of 10 minutes to two hours, rainfall amounts exceeded values one might expect once in 100 years.

Excess runoff and overload of the city’s storm-drainage system is more related to rainfall amounts over periods of less than two hours than it is to amounts in 24 hours. While 100-millimetre storms during a 24-hour period are relatively common, such rains seldom cause problems unless the rain falls over a much shorter time interval, since there is more time for the drainage system to dispose of water than for a storm of two hours or less.

The thunderstorm rain for the Victoria Day long weekend in 1974, for example, looks quite benign among a list of 24-hour amounts, but caused a record amount of single-storm summer flood damages in the city due to 50 mm falling in about half an hour.

Since the city is most sensitive to short-duration, intense rains, it was appropriate to call the Aug. 21 storm a 100-year event, although it would have been informative to say this was for durations of less than two hours.

Alf Warkentin



Chicago should inspire city

I agree with Bartley Kives — there is a huge challenge to fill the shoes of Jim August and Ross MacGowan, who have both made significant contributions to Winnipeg’s inner city (Changing of the guard downtown, Aug. 29).

Having recently visited Chicago, I suggest their successors and the new mayor of the former Chicago of the North now take a close look at the vibrancy, creativeness and positive urban spirit and development of that city.

Phyllis Gallimore



An all-too-familiar history

I shuddered reading Allan Levine’s A war for Britain (Aug. 29).

It reminded me how Canada and the world was drawn into the Second World War by Hitler’s egomaniacal invasion of Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, ostensibly for the protection of German-speaking people living in eastern Europe. It also reminded me of the first air-raid warning siren I heard on Sept. 3, 1939.

The shudders also came because I think we are seeing a repeat of history with Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, for that’s what it is: a slow-creeping invasion, ostensibly for the protection of Russian-speaking people living in eastern Ukraine.

Hitler was threatened with war, and he chose to ignore the threats. Putin has been repeatedly sanctioned by the West, and is choosing to ignore the sanctions. What’s next?

History is warning us with its air-raid warning siren, and we had better listen.

Chris Kennedy



Riding Mountain a disgrace

Growing up in Dauphin meant growing up a short drive from Riding Mountain National Park and Clear Lake.

I’ve lived in Winnipeg now for nearly 12 years, and I don’t get out to RMNP nearly as often these days. Friends who’ve never been to RMNP often hear me talk about it being my favourite place in Manitoba.

I recently took someone up who had never been and was embarrassed. It’s clear years of the Harper government’s neglect are taking their toll. The roads in the park are riddled with potholes; driving anywhere near the speed limit on the road to the bison enclosure would destroy your car.

The observation tower is closed (and has been for some time), and I read with disappointment about the cuts to winter programming a few years ago.

The park is a national treasure; our government should ensure it stays one, not cause its decline.

Ben Wickstrom



Broadway has plenty of heavy hands

Manitoba Attorney General Andrew Swan has the audacity to say the dispute between the PUB and MPI will sort itself out without the interference of the “heavy hand of government” (MPI, PUB dispute will sort itself: Swan, Aug. 29).

This from the government whose heavy hand it was that forced another Crown corporation, Manitoba Hydro, into building the Bipole III transmission line down the west side of the lakes instead of the east side.

That this government’s heavy-handedness in the Bipole issue has cost Manitoba tax- and ratepayers more than a billion dollars up front, and will cost us countless billions more over the rest of this century, seems to have completely eluded Swan’s attention.

Cal Paul


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