Peterborough is one of the 270 communities in Ontario 'designated' as a flood-risk area. Excessive rain caused flooding in 2002 and 2004, resulting in millions of dollars in damage throughout the town of Peterborough. An estimated 190 millimetres of rain fell in the recent 2004 storm, flooding basements and damaging personal property.

Major floods are unusual in Ontario, but statistics show that another hurricane will likely happen again. In 2004, for the seventh consecutive year, experts around the world predicted an above normal level of tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Ocean. These forecasts have seldom been wrong.

The hurricane season officially runs from June through November. For more than a decade, the Atlantic's waters have been warm enough to produce a record number of tropical cyclones and there appears to be little change in sight.

Source: Canadian Hurricane Centre: Atlantic Hurricane Season 2004 Outlook
The last 10 years have been the busiest of any decade on record for Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes. Whenever there's a prediction of increased hurricane activity overall in the Atlantic, it means that there's a greater chance that one or more of these storms will make their way northwards and affect Canada. Hurricane Hazel is just one of several hurricanes that have affected Canada. Hurricane Juan, born in Bermuda, hit the coast of Nova Scotia on September 29, 2003, causing the most damage in modern history for Halifax, N.S. (as measured by the widespread tree blow-downs, power outages and damaged homes). Although hurricanes can cause severe damage, it is important to understand that small floods which happen every year caused by spring snow melt, ice jams, thunderstorms or tropical storms, can also be harmful, as high water levels can be dangerous to communities.

With this in mind, let's make sure you are prepared.

Conservation authorities, in cooperation with local municipalities and the province, play a significant role in the protection of life and property from natural hazards such as flooding. In Ontario, the Ministry of Natural Resources, conservation authorities and Environment Canada are responsible for forecasting where and when flooding is likely to occur and issuing flood alerts and warnings.

The key to hurricane protection is preparation. By taking sensible measures before, during and after a hurricane, many lives can be saved and property damage averted.

What to do when a Hurricane Watch or Warning is issued

What to do During a Hurricane

What to do During a Flood


Water Battery

    For more information on how to prepare you and your family for emergencies, please visit

Environment Canada, 2004