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Helsinki to build dykes to protect neighbourhoods from floods

Helsinki to build dykes to protect neighbourhoods from floods
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Helsinki plans to build a total of 13 flood barriers along parts of the city's shoreline in order to protect low-lying residential areas from high water levels.
      The most extensive at-risk areas are in Munkkiniemi, Tammisalo, Laajasalo, Vartiokylä, and Vuosaari.
      Construction has already begun in Laajasalo in the east of the city, and plans are ready for nearby Marjaniemi as well.
      The biggest single dyke, 1.3 kilometres in length, is planned for both shores of the Vartiokylänlahti bay in the east of the city. The construction is to take about ten years, and the areas have been divided into three classes of urgency.
The flooding danger was seen to be real in January 2005 when the level of the sea off Helsinki rose 1.5 metres above normal, in a rare "bathtub effect", in which low barometric pressure and high winds pushed the sea level up in the Gulf of Finland.
The City of Helsinki then commissioned a study from consultants on preparations for flooding, and the preliminary plan for the proposal is now ready.
      The head of the project, Jorma Rajala, says that the areas most at risk from high water levels have been ascertained using maps, measurements, visits to potential flood zones, and information provided by residents.
      The report concludes that sea water could threaten residential buildings near the dykes only if the water were to rise two metres above normal. Such an event is likely to occur about once every 200 years. First at risk are sewage pipes and drains.
      However, the real problems begin when the foundations of buildings begin to get wet.
Flood dykes are planned on city land only in areas where flooding would cause significant damage to property. Those with homes on low-lying private land will need to set up their own flood protection.
      The preliminary plan was approved by Helsinki's Public Works Committee. The specific timetable depends on how funding is made available.

Previously in HS International Edition:
  Winter storm raises sea levels on Finnish coast to record highs (10.1.2005)

Helsingin Sanomat

  21.4.2008 - TODAY
 Helsinki to build dykes to protect neighbourhoods from floods

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