Tuesday, July 16, 2013

What Did Toronto Learn During Last Week's Floods?


It probably didn't pass your attention that this time last week, we were recovering from a very hectic start to the week with floods and record-breaking torrential rain.

A week later, there's still a number of things that deeply niggle me about how things were handled, and the aftermath.  Questions abound.  Here are some of them:

1)  Why wasn't the Toronto OEM (Office of Emergency Management) on social media during the storm?  
2)  There must be thousands of FRS and GMRS radios in Toronto.  Why is nobody using them with their neighbours?  You'd think the Government would be promoting them as an alternative way to communicate with neighbours.
And speaking of radios in an emergency….
3)  Did anyone out there hear a peep from Toronto ARES?  I know I heard nothing. 
4)  Why is the city silent on how flood plain information is being updated?  Does last week constitute the new "regulatory maximum" for planning purposes going forward? Or is the City going to use the previously predicted information through 2050 to build new flood plan information?  It's gone very quiet on the issue.
5)  Why did the Police send out tiny little dinghies to rescue people from the GO Train when they could have done much quicker rescue's with the hippo buses?  The way it was done is like emptying the oceans with a teaspoon.
6)  What happened to the person who thought it was a good idea to send that GO Train down the valley anyway?  Why hasn't GO said what they new criteria will be moving forward for the safety of passengers to make sure this doesn't happen again?
7)  Nobody has said whether that much water affected where the Gardiner Expressway sits.  That reclaimed land has never seen that much water since it was founded, so did the Gardiner sink at all?
8)  I still haven't seen a valid explanation as to why the TTC doesn't have multiple hydro connections to avoid outages like it experienced.

In conclusion, the thing that really gets my goat right now is this:  
What was previously a hypothetically bad situation has now become an actual proven issue that did happen, but I'm not seeing anything to make me confident that the city of Toronto is learning from what happened.  It's like they're just going back to business as usual talking about new subway tunnels, and we will have to go through more situations like this until someone finally grabs the bull by the horns and steers a proper course to safety.