Now can we talk about greening up some of these vast swaths of concrete? Let the rainwater seep into the ground instead of running down the streets, pooling in the parking lots?



about 11 years ago

I understand the sentiment, as non-permeable surfaces do cause this problem in other locations.

But we live in Duluth, which consists of 15-20 feet of dirt on top of Basalt which is impermeable  on its own. So we would probably be more likely to be seeing landslides than washouts without all the sewers and roads.


about 11 years ago

Native landscaping instead of mowed lawns would help ...


about 11 years ago

Native vegetation and standing water, perfect places to grow and hide mosquitos, ticks and black flies.


about 11 years ago

Bike lanes!! 'nuff said.


about 11 years ago

If green roofs can make an impact on the storm sewer system, then I'm thinking putting in some trees into the middle of the mall parking lot would help, and would probably not cause a landslide.


about 11 years ago

I can't help but wonder what the area would look like if we had real, live wetlands vs. crappy retention ponds in the mall area. 

And then there's the issue of what if we figured out how to bring the streams back to the surface (like Brewer Creek near the coop or Northland Creek near the sinkhole at 41 east and Regent Street).


about 11 years ago

I guess the mall area's plan of "we'll build this all on wetland" policy didn't work out all that great after all...


about 11 years ago

A day later, this post is still bugging me, so here are my thoughts.

I understand that you find it to be a timely topic. But I don't think the day that a whole city is shaking from the shock of destruction is a good time for such criticism.

What "vast swaths of concrete" are you talking about? We experienced rainfall greater than any ever recorded, a 100-year flood or whatever you want to call it. To choose the day of that event to make your point misses the point, I'd say.


about 11 years ago

Beverly, I'm sorry that I caused you hurt. I felt bad about it all last evening. 

But I don't think there is a 'too soon' when it comes to disaster preparedness. As we rebuild, we can add to the city and make something this bad a little less likely or damaging. If there was a bad earthquake, you would immediately start building earthquake tolerant structures. Just so, we can immediately start creating parking lots with more green-- more drainage. 

There are a lot of parking lots in this city. The mall area is one very obvious example of a very vast swath of the stuff. But downtown, too, seems as if there's a whole zone devoted to hospital parking that just keeps growing. When you walk through all those parking lots the air temperature gets obviously higher. 

Adding some trees and planters would keep the air temperature from climbing and would take some stress off of the storm sewers. That's something we need to do, and when you are beginning to rebuild, that's exactly when you need to be thinking about it.


about 11 years ago

Even without our enormous footprint on watersheds, our impact on the atmosphere will ensure these extreme weather events.


about 11 years ago

Very good point! I'm surprised that some people here are so uninformed that you'd get resistance for this.

"But we live in Duluth, which consists of 15-20 feet of dirt on top of Basalt which is impermeable on its own. So we would probably be more likely to be seeing landslides than washouts without all the sewers and roads."


So, next time you're up by the mall, take a look at Kohls. It's built directly on top of a wetland. I suppose you didn't pay attention to your middle school science class, as if you did, you'd have learned that wetlands act like sponges. They can absorb large amount of water.

Then, look at Kohl's. Can Kohls' parking lot absorb large amounts of water?

When these things are built, if I recall the companies are required to build 'replacement wetlands', over the fierce objections of every Republican in the world. Of course, a fake wetland built by Wal-Mart is a rather pathetic  idea in itself and I really don't think it has any sort of beneficial effect on storm water.

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