Keeping Current – Flooding solution ideas

Floods are the most costly natural disaster in Canada in terms of property damage, and the Elk Valley is not exempt from that.

  • Jul. 8, 2015 12:00 p.m.

Submitted by Chiara Cipriano

Floods are the most costly natural disaster in Canada in terms of property damage, and the Elk Valley is not exempt from that.

Throughout the 20th Century, nine major floods inundated the Elk Valley, and despite the tens of millions of dollars that were invested after the 1995 flood, damage still occurred to infrastructure by rising waters again in 2013.

Climate modelers predict a future with increased flooding.

The Elk River Alliance (ERA) is gathering information and generating ideas for solutions in response to this concern.

“Options we are looking at will need to protect community residents and infrastructure first and foremost, as well as enhance resiliency in watershed function and protect wildlife habitat,” said Lee-Anne Walker, ERA Executive Director.

Goals of the Elk River Flood Solutions Strategy are:

1) Increase better understanding of Elk River hydrology.

2) Model future scenarios of flood frequency/severity and the effects on communities.

3) Analyze community flood preparedness and mitigation options.

4) Promote a watershed-wide approach to flood mitigation integrating government polices, industrial practices and community efforts.

5) Support decision makers to implement the best flood mitigation practices throughout the Elk River watershed.

6) Increase community watershed literacy on the past, current and future impacts of flooding.

The best option will include a combination of structural (i.e. dikes, rip rap, etc.) and non-structural or natural options. Preserving land adjacent to the river and limiting development in these floodplains can offset the expensive cost of building flood mitigation structures.

One tip for landowners by the river is to preserve any wetlands and vegetations between their homes and the river.

Cutting down cottonwoods and willows may open up a better view, but doing so exposes the banks to ongoing erosion.

“You can think of this vegetation as free flood insurance, soaking up and storing water like a giant sponge, slowly releasing it to the environment,” said Chiara Cipriano, ERA Community Outreach Educator. “The Elk River Alliance is currently collecting community feedback throughout a survey about flooding. Express your interest and concerns on our website www.elkriveralliance.ca to learn more and access survey, or like us on Facebook.”

Just Posted

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

BC BUDGET: NDP cracks down on speculators, hidden ownership

Foreign buyers’ tax extended to Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Vancouver Island

BC BUDGET: Payroll tax replaces medical premiums

Health spending to increase $1.5 billion for drugs, primary care teams

Polar Peak officially open

On February 19, Fernie Alpine Resort announced that Polar Peak was officially… Continue reading

B.C. freestyle skier wins gold

Cassie Sharpe of Comox shines in the halfpipe

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Video: B.C. firefighters featured in quirky video

Oliver Fire Department posts video about their B.C. volunteer firefighter spring training seminar

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Two more medals push Canada into second place

A gold in ski cross and a bronze in bobsleigh as men’s hockey advances to the semis

Trudeau reiterates denial of Sikh separatists in cabinet, condemns extremism

“We will always stand against violent extremism, but we understand that diversity of views is one of the great strengths of Canada.”

Canada wins gold in men’s ski cross

Leman earns redemption with ski cross gold; Homan out early

Trump says more must be done to protect children

In a tweet Tuesday night, Trump indicated he wants to strengthen the background check system, but offered no specifics.

Evangelist Billy Graham has died at 99

Graham died Wednesday morning at his home in Montreat, North Carolina.

Most Read