Canadian Consulting Engineer

Hurricane Igor calls for rebuilding in Newfoundland

While clean-up work continues in eastern Newfoundland after the damage caused by Hurricane Igor, consulting en...

October 4, 2010   Canadian Consulting Engineer

While clean-up work continues in eastern Newfoundland after the damage caused by Hurricane Igor, consulting engineers are preparing to provide their services for all the work that will be required in the months to come.
By October 2, the Newfoundland government and Canadian military forces had restored roads to all 90 communities that had been left isolated after roads and bridges were washed away during the hurricane 10 days before. The worst hit areas were the Burin Peninsular in the southeast, and the Bonavista Peninsular on the east coast. Over 200 mm of rain fell in 20 hours, causing widespread flooding, while winds blew over 150 kilometres an hour, causing waves to pound the coastline, toss boats around and rip siding off buildings.
Tom Hedderson, Minister of Transportation and Works for Newfoundland and Labrador, described the extent of the damage of floods and high winds. “The incredible fact is that the landscape of our province will be forever changed as a result of Hurricane Igor,” he said. While commending the progress that had been made, he said, “I must remind residents that many of the road and bridge repairs we have completed are temporary given that permanent repairs are not possible in most cases due to the proximity of winter.”
James Powell of Stantec, who is president of Consulting Engineers of Newfoundland, says that consulting engineering firms will be involved in a variety of different work in the aftermath of the hurricane. He believes that consulting engineers would be involved in various types of initial assessments and civil engineering, related to landslides, bridge abutment and culvert wash-outs, and possibly structural work for buildings.
But, he says, “I anticipate that most of the work is yet to come.” Beyond the engineering required for rebuilding permanent structures, Powell suggests consultants could be involved in insurance assessments and environmental work, such as for oil spills and mould damage.
Various different departments of the Newfoundland government took charge during the emergency. Fire and Emergency Services, for example, coordinated the delivery of food and supplies by land, sea and 50 air drops. Emergency Social Services established reception centres for the displaced individuals in St. John’s, Clarenville and Bonavista.
To get a sense of the storm hitting on September 21, click here.
And see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vBnOKrBaww&feature=related

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