Last week I was invited to participate in a full day meeting in Fredericton hosted by the Province to look at the draft framework for their upcoming Flood Risk Reduction Strategy. It was very interesting and I commend the Province for trying to get a handle on the increasing incidences of in-land and coastal flooding and for realizing they should invite REALTORs to the meeting since we deal with riparian properties all the time.
Coastal and in-land flooding are among the most significant hazards facing landowners in NB today. We have historically seen settlements develop along the coast and river systems as this was the primary transportation routes at the time. Areas that periodically flooded were developed as well.
One of the results of on-going climate change is that the periodic flooding experienced in many areas has increased significantly. Over the past 5 years NB has seen a 300% increase in the number of disaster financial assistance claims by flooding. This amounts to over $100 million is claims over the past 5 years and this is expected to increase. Another $28 million has been spent on infrastructure repairs as well. This is a significant burden on a government already strapped for cash.
The working group I was involved with looked at the strategy being developed by the Department of Environment and Local Government, to see if it made sense, if they had missed anything and if the strategy going forward seemed to be workable. A series of Goals, Objectives, Actions and Expected outcomes were examined by the group and suggestions were made for improvement.
I found this to be a very interesting day and once we receive the working paper, I'll post some highlights of that as well.