Friday, August 17, 2018

N. IL worries about Foxconn flooding. Are the planned runoff basins adequate?

Flash flooding in several Wisconsin counties Friday morning draws attention to fresh concerns in Northern Illinois that massive roofs and paved surfaces headed for the Foxconn site in Racine County could lead to damaging runoff downstream.

I'd reported last year that Racine County has documented flooding problems; bulldozing and building there on thousands of acres of precipitation-grabbing farmland,
and on wooded areas with established root systems, and also on rainfall-absorbing wetlands exempted from everyday Wisconsin preservation requirements could increase the volume and velocity of downstream water flows during ever-more frequent heavy rain events in a warming climate:
The '100-Year Flood' Concept Is Showing Its Age
Aside from the impacts of climate change, factors that impact how rainwater behaves in the landscape are always changing as well. A three-inch rainfall today and a three-inch rainfall 50 years ago may have very different results. Urban development and its ever-expanding shell of paved surfaces causes more rainwater to run along the surface of roads rather than seep into the ground, increasing strain on storm sewers. Changes in geology, river systems and other characteristics of the landscape, whether natural or caused by humans, will also influence where water ends up.
"If we have an increase in urban development in a river system then you're going to get larger floods happening more frequently," said Colin Belby, a professor of geography at UW-La Crosse who once worked for the Army Corps of Engineers.
Even with the best available intentions, requirements and expert practices worked into plans and managed going forward.

Correspondence among officials provided by SEWRPC under Wisconsin's Open Records law indicate that stormwater management planning will complywith Village of Mount Pleasant ordinances.

Records as of April indicated that Foxconn on its site intends to construct five stormwater management detention basins covering a total of 62.5 acres - - two basins in the western portion of the site in the Des Plains River watershed and three in the eastern portion of the site in the Pike River watershed.

I haven't finished reading all the documentation.

Like the skies, this is all something to closely watch.

Here is a complete archive of posts about Foxconn over the last 14 months.

For the record, the Walker regime in Wisconsin has targeted climate change, climate science, the Great Lakes Compact and an independent DNR on behalf industry and donors, leaving the environment and its waters degraded and widely exposed.

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