BELFAST — After severe storms in other parts of the country caused major flooding, two members of the Climate Crisis Committee put together a report on the potential for floods in Belfast — and shortly afterward, the city had a flooding event of its own.

Most of the report looks into current water retention and culvert infrastructure installed in the city and upgrading it as needed, committee member Fred Bowers said. Bowers drafted the report along with fellow committee member Jerry Brand.

Much of the drainage infrastructure was built many years ago and the committee does not have design records of the storm intensity and frequency they were built to withstand, Bowers said. The city’s storm systems could be overwhelmed in the future, given predictions for more frequent intense storms. The report advises the city to evaluate the infrastructure’s ability to withstand an increase in intense storms.

The area between Route 3 and Lincolnville Avenue — where H&R Block, Dunkin’, McDonalds and many other businesses are located — is of concern because of its relatively low position compared to its surroundings, Bowers said. Areas with a lot of pavement and roof runoff tend to have more runoff.

After the report was drafted, Belfast had a storm that dropped 5 to 6 inches of rain in about six hours. Some parts of the city were inundated with water, including an area of Route 1 and around Lincolnville Avenue, he said. One part of Route 1 on the west side of Memorial Bridge flooded and it is unclear why. Sometimes flooding occurs when drains are clogged with debris.

“When we saw that had happened, that was exactly the kind of unexpected inundation we were worried about, and we still don’t know why that happens,” Bowers said.

The committee also wants to work with the Public Works Department, which works through storms to rake drains and tidy up areas that become washed out, to help identify problem areas and address flooding issues, he said.

The report also calls for inspection of overflow pump stations and culverts, particularly those that deliver stormwater to the bay, he said. Low-lying culverts draining into the bay could cause water to back up into parts of the city during storm surges in the bay as sea levels rise.

There was a 20% to 24% increase in storm intensity in Waldo County from 1961 to 2008, the committee found in a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report. The committee surmises that storm severity has continued to increase since 2008, despite the lack of hard data since then.

The report does not identify the Passagassawakeag River watershed, which is 76.7 square miles, as an immediate concern for flooding from intense storms because it is steeply channeled with floodplains that are not densely built up. But the committee does recommend more analysis to assess the risk. The river should be included as a potential source of tidal flooding, it says.

The report does not look at the Little River and Goose River watersheds because of known but unevaluated risks. The Little River dams are old and it is unclear if they could survive a major flood surge. The report advises the city to look into safety records and engineering studies for each of the rivers.

The report was prompted by several recent severe storms around the country, some of which happened last September in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, states that received 10 inches of rain in only a few hours, flooding several rivers, according to the report.

City Councilor Mike Hurley asked the committee to look into potential issues if the city receives a significant precipitation event like rain of 3 inches an hour or 17 inches in one day, according to the report.

Late this summer in New Brunswick, New Jersey — Hurley’s home state — Hurricane Ida brought devastating floods with record rainfall, causing the Raritan River to flood and kill several people, according to an NPR article. It was the state’s second-deadliest storm on record, according to a New York Times story.

The city has been fixing stormwater systems whenever wastewater treatment system sewers need to be replaced, Bower said. He recommended that the city identify problem areas and seek federal and state grants as a way to cover the cost of upgrades to stormwater drainage systems.