Assistant City Manager Chris Wilson should consider giving up his day job and becoming a professional soothsayer.
On Tuesday, Feb. 4 at the Greensboro City Council work session, Wilson said that “the new normal” was more frequent and extreme weather events that would result in more flooding.
On Thursday, Feb. 6, Greensboro was hit with a winter storm with unusually intense rain and thunderstorms. One to two inches of rain is what most of the area reportedly received.
Before this latest storm, Greensboro had already received a little over 5 inches of rain this year when the normal amount is about 3.5 inches. Thursday’s storm, depending on what the official number is, could put Greensboro close to having twice the normal amount of rainfall for the year. At least so far this year 2020 seems to be following the pattern of 2018 and 2019, where the rainfall far exceeded the 42 inches that is considered normal.
North Buffalo Creek flooded Latham Park Thursday, causing roads to be closed, but the water at least by nightfall had not risen to the level of Latham Road or of the two lots on Latham Road the city bought last fall because they are in the flood plain and a developer planned to build houses on them.
The current regulations allow building in the floodplain as long as the floor is one foot above the flood plain. One avenue the city is considering in order to deal with the more frequent flooding is raising that minimum height and taking other regulatory measures to discourage new construction in the flood prone areas.
Another of the solutions to flooding that Assistant Director of Water Resources Kristine Williams told the City Council her department was working on was increasing the size of pipes and culverts to move more water. Thursday it certainly appeared the bridge on Cridland Road over Buffalo Creek could have used bigger culverts under it.
It didn’t appear that the City Council needed any additional convincing that additional measures would need to be taken by the city to deal with the more intense and frequent storms and if it did, certainly the rain Thursday should have done the job.