Intuitively Obvious - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2028140

Intuitively Obvious

Has our village prepared for the foreseeable and unavoidable extreme weather already seen in the rest of the United States?

What efforts to protect our village from extreme weather have been undertaken by the BFJ planners under the “steering” of the Bill Manger Steering Committee to protect our village from climate changes that have temporarily spared us?

1. Have the planners gathered statistics about the past and recent experiences from fire spreading to neighboring properties to property damage from flash floods and/or torrential rainfalls? Such data, gathered by insurers to help them set rates, provides a baseline input into predictive models.

2. Have the planners sought long-term experiential information based on FEMA data about property damage from flash floods, torrential rainfalls, especially in coastal areas along the Atlantic?

3. Have the planners built any econometric models applying to our village, to estimate the prevention of fire spread from (a) larger no-build zones between properties on varying size lots on local village streets? (b) adjusting permissible size and height of structures depending on changes in violence of wind gusts from 30 mph to up to 70-plus mph winds; (c) forbidding extraneous structures (i.e. pool houses, gazebos, pergolas, etc. by square footage) on small lots, to preserve lawns and green backyards for the increasingly challenging job of absorbing rains from 1 in./hr. to 8 in./hr., including the impact of the changing duration of such rainfalls?

To understand the three questions above, readers and the Bill Manger Steering Committee should realize that econometric models are simultaneous equation systems special-tailored for a specific community (our village) to determine the likely impact of the change in one variable (i.e. fire from lightening strike to endless or torrential rainfalls) on such other variables as (1) size and height of structures on varying size lots; (2) appropriate distance from property lines and streets to contain both (a) spread of fire; and (b) flooding of other properties and streets.

Some possible changes in variables under the village’s own controls may be intuitively obvious:

For instance, what would be the impact on flooding of streets from switching from water-repellant asphalt driveways to water-absorbing gravel over earth driveways? If the avoidance of flooded local streets and/or Meadow Lane and Gin Lane is substantial from that change alone, then test the benefits in flood control to be derived from forbidding such extraneous structures especially on small lots, from redundant pool houses, gazebos, and any other water-repellant over-development causing flooding.

Evelyn Konrad