HOUGHTON — Going by historical norms, the storm that hit the Copper Country on June 17 was a 1,000-year event.
But the combination of warmer, wetter weather and changes in land use means events like it could become more common, said Veronica Webster, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Michigan Technological University. Webster’s Tuesday lecture, “Is Intense Rain the New Normal? Understanding Our Risks” was the second in the Keweenaw Natural History Seminar Series, which is focused on the causes and effects of and responses to the flood.
As development increases, the community needs to consider how runoff could increase from changes in the climate or the watershed, and take into account how roadways affect runoff patterns.
“Where we choose to build and how we choose to build impacts our resilience to the increasing risk of heavy storm events and flood events,” she said.