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

Barry Marchi’s spirits high as treatment in Seattle continues

Barry Marchi’s spirits are high as he continues treatment in the United… Continue reading

PHOTOS: 2019 Wapiti Music Festival

With eyes to the stage and hands to the sky the crowd… Continue reading

New art gallery opens downtown Fernie

Two local artists, Tara Higgins and Kerri Holmes have joined forces to open H2 Studio Gallery

Search continues for new leads in Mt. Bisaro cave system

Cavers returning October, November to push new leads, extend Canada’s deepest cave near Fernie

Wildfire update in the Southeast Fire Centre

No fires currently pose a threat to structures or communities, says BC Wildfire Service

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

RCMP, search crews hunt for 4-year-old boy missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

Most Read