Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Are Nanaimo Officials Causing Needless Worry?

The above screen grab is taken from a front page story of the local Daily which would lead many readers to think we were on the brink of some dire emergency. The following quotes are attributed to city water expert Bill Sims.

"Over the course of the rainfall Friday night and Saturday morning, the water was more than 40 centimetres deep and remained at that level for about 12 hours, Sims said."

" Given the risks we were aware of, we were probably four or five hours away from activating our emergency response plan," Sims said.

 Was The Situation Really All That Dangerous?

The following is a picture taken by CDPPS members and graphics have been added to show what levels of water were in the ponds that day, compared with the levels required to trigger more emergency response and the distance before the water would 'over top' the dams.

Is the city being overly cautious or simply raising needless concern and worry on the part of residents living near the park? Look closely at those levels on the photo and clearly it would take a massive amount of water to come anywhere close to the 34 year historic high of 90 cm.

Why would Mr. Sims be worried because the water came up to 40cm and remained there for 12 hours? You have to wonder just what calculations and common sense have been used to establish the emergency plan set in place to deal with this political 'hot potato'.

Is the city really doing the public a service, or a serious disservice by raising the level of angst and concern they are creating with their arguably 'over the top' safety program. There are 80 flood warning signs in the neighbourhood which is likely more signs than you would find along the whole west coast in the tsunami zone.

The concern expressed by Mr. Sims in the January Daily News story makes you wonder if that is the demonstrated rational, cool headed person you want in charge of emergency measures.

I am reminded of a favourite H.L. Mencken quote: "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary".


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