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Flood Risk Innovation in Badger

The 2003 flood in Badger was one of the most significant in the Province's history.

Flood Risk Innovation in Badger

In 2003, the Town of Badger experienced one of the most significant flood events in the province's history. When ice jammed in the rivers in the early hours of a cold February day, the water levels rose by over two meters in less than an hour, catching the entire town off guard. A state of emergency was declared and the town's 1,200 residents were evacuated. In the days that followed, extremely cold conditions froze the flood waters and encased a large portion of the town in ice for weeks.

Exploits River - Ice Classification

Exploits River - Ice Classification View details

Source: Prepared by the Office of Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, and Emissions Trading, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

From this event, an innovative approach was developed to help decision makers forecast whether floods from ice jamming may occur in the future. The Badger River Ice Service was expanded and now includes cameras on the Exploits River to visually assess ice conditions, satellite imagery to assess how much ice is in the river and where it is consolidating, and risk alerts for provincial, community and emergency response personnel.

This project was developed in partnership with the European Space Agency and has been presented internationally as a model for other jurisdictions to learn from, including at the 2008 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poland.

Climate change will continue to make weather patterns less predictable. Colder than usual weather can lead to higher than normal river ice formation which, when combined with higher than normal water flow, can result in flooding. By introducing proper measures and protocols, and by updating emergency management plans, communities will be better prepared to react to unexpected weather events.

More Case Studies

Case Study: Flood Risk Innovation in Badger
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