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

RCMP busy with thefts, mortar discovery, assault, arrests, more

Submitted Cst. Debra Katerenchuk, Media Relations Officer, Elk Valley RCMP The Elk… Continue reading

First Nations included in latest Columbia River Treaty talks

Seventh round of negotiations between Canada and U.S. wrap up in Washington D.C.

Elk Valley coach sets sight on all girls hockey team

Statistics from BC Hockey show fewer girls are signing up to play… Continue reading

Proposed Hosmer intersection set to improve safety

A proposed intersection in Hosmer aims to improve the safety of those… Continue reading

Maiden Lake flood mitigations to be completed in full

The City of Fernie will forge ahead with all required flood mitigations… Continue reading

VIDEO: Stop-motion artist recreates Kawhi Leonard’s famous buzzer-beater

It took Jared Jacobs about 40 hours to make the video, on top of the research

Canada Day fireworks cancelled in Fernie

Fireworks will not feature as part of Canada Day celebrations in Fernie… Continue reading

Rock slide in B.C. river may hinder salmon passage

DFO says it is aware that the slide occurred in a narrow portion of the Fraser River

Four-hour tarmac delay violates charter rights of Canadians with a disability: lawsuit

Bob Brown says new rules reduce the distance he can travel by air without putting his health at risk

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Most Read