Last year, during the derecho on May 21st, a cottage at Clear Lake was completely demolished by the fall of a large tree, swept away by violent winds. The two people inside were only slightly injured. Fortunately. But they had the scare of their lives. There are no magical solutions to protect yourself from such accidents, but there are ways to reduce the risk of such incidents.
Professional tree pruning reduces the impact of the wind by allowing it to pass freely through the foliage or needle-covered branches. My first advice: have the trees around your residence pruned, especially the large trees. I probably don’t need to convince you that rains are becoming more frequent, more abundant, and accompanied by stronger winds.
It is generally expected that climate change will lead to an increase in extreme and more frequent weather events. This includes phenomena such as heatwaves, storms, strong winds, heavy rainfall, and droughts.
I briefly touched on these issues during my presentation at the AGM on July 30th, but due to the interest shown by participants, I decided to elaborate on them here and also to share this information with those who could not attend the meeting.
Drainage and Runoff
We are already experiencing heavy rains. The high water level of our lakes bears witness to this. And this phenomenon will continue to intensify. Therefore, it is important to ensure that rainwater is efficiently drained. This applies first and foremost to driveways, especially if they have a steep slope. Paving is strongly discouraged unless it’s on a very steep slope. Water falling on pavement flows at an accelerated speed and can cause significant damage to properties. Moreover, it creates a wall of water that carries nutrients, and a significant portion of it may end up in your lake even if your shoreline is compliant.
A well-drained gravel driveway will absorb rainwater, which will then be filtered by the soil before eventually reaching the lake. Such measures will limit runoff.
A shoreline protection band of at least 10 meters, whenever possible, with trees and shrubs, will absorb nutrients like phosphorus, preventing them from reaching your lake.
Finally, I assume that you scrupulously follow the instructions for emptying and cleaning your septic systems. Every two years for permanent residents and every four years for vacationers. By the way, the best septic tank pumping technology is the one with filtered water return for standard septic tanks with compartments. The water returned to the tank is free of solid matter but still contains the necessary bacteria for its proper functioning.
Climate change will generate increasingly frequent extreme events. In such a context, the adaptation measures proposed here will help you cope with them.
A Plant to Avoid
I’ll conclude this article by sharing useful information about a dangerous wild plant.
Take a close look at the following images. This is Poison Parsnip.
I took these shots at the edge of the Dunany road, facing Ross road. Michael Cunningham, a resident of Boyd Lake, alerted me to the presence of this bunch of wild or poison parsnip.
Contact with wild parsnip sap, followed by exposure to sunlight, can cause a photo toxic skin reaction similar to burns. You will find more about this plant here.
I reported their presence to the authorities of Wentworth Township and believe they will remove it. In the meantime, stay away from this invasive exotic plant.