Saturday, June 21, 2014

Rains and Roofs

Rain. Rain. Rain….well, at least in Minnesota!

In the Twin Cities, we are experiencing the wettest spring since 1891. This week alone we will exceed 12” of rain. With prolonged saturating rain events every few days since winter thaw, the Mississippi River is expected to rise seven feet in the next few days. The creeks are flooded, and after this weekend’s rain, even more streets will be closed. Some farms have already declared their crop failures for the year. And, extreme flooding up North usually means problems for the cities along the southern flow of the River.Weather factoids and jumping in puddles are fun, but this is serious business for the region that was not designed to manage this much water.

This week we held a green roof symposium designed to drive policy and promote them across the state.  Ironically, listening to the news after the event, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency stated that excessive flooding was the cause of runoff from all the roofs and other impervious surfaces coupled with aging storm water infrastructure not able to manage the volume. Vegetated roofs can alleviate some of this!

Is this the chaotic event that is needed to drive change?

We are building a task force to make an aggressive plan to reach policy makers and work with them to create incentives for green roof construction.  Cities that are growing hundreds of roofs have programs in place already to provide rebates and grants for installations- and are starting to see the positive effects of reducing impervious surfaces. 

Contact if you are interested in motivating the politicians and agencies to build vegetated roofs!