Flood Resisting Infrastructure in the Town of Placentia
Placentia is a small town located on the western coast of the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland and Labrador, consisting of the amalgamated communities of Dunville, Argentia, Freshwater, Jerseyside and Townside. The French first settled Placentia early in the 17th century, utilizing the large rocky beach for drying their cod. Today, the town has an approximate population of 3500 people. The town has a history of flooding, aggravated by urban development over the past 15 to 25 years into the area directly behind the beach.
Located on a flood plain with an average elevation of approximately 0m above seawater, the downtown area of Placentia is prone to feeling the direct effects of harsh storms including flooding and intense runoff. In response to these environmental conditions, two pieces of infrastructure have been built in order to holdback the seawater.
Placentia currently consist of a steel, timber, and stone breakwater which was constructed in the 1960’s and extended in the 1990’s, as well as steel sheet pile floodwall which is located on the backside of the town.
The following paper will highlight the reason for choosing such forms of flood prevention infrastructure, as well as future considerations to improving the infrastructure due changes in climate.
Cameron Consulting Incorporated, “Engineering Vulnerability Assessment of Public Infrastructure, Appendix B-2, Town of Placentia, Newfoundland” 2008
Canadian Council of Professional Engineers, “Adapting to Climate Change, Canada’s First National Engineering Vulnerability Assessment of Public Infrastructure” 2008
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