Chilliwack/Victoria – As part of the Province’s recent investment (March 15, 2017) of over $80 million in emergency preparedness and public safety, plans for major flood prevention projects were announced Friday by MLA for Chilliwack John Martin, on behalf of Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness Naomi Yamamoto.
An investment of $4.2 million through the BC Disaster Mitigation Program will support the McGillivray Pump Station, increasing the pumping capacity to meet the standard to protect against a one-in-100-year rainfall event. It will benefit the area bounded by the dikes of the Fraser River along the Trans-Canada Highway to the north, Vedder River dikes to the south, Lickman Road to the east and Vedder Canal dikes to the west, protecting a 30-square-kilometre floodplain area.
To better understand and mitigate flooding hazards along the Fraser River and southern coast, the Province also invested $2.13 million in three Fraser Basin Council (FBC) projects:
- $1 million will support the FBC in conducting an inventory and engineering assessment of all orphan or unmanaged dikes in British Columbia. This assessment will evaluate the structural conditions of the dikes and determine the cost to upgrade the dikes to provincial standard and to acquire at-risk properties. The goal of this project is to assess the risks to local communities and to help facilitate the transfer of diking authority to local governments.
- $800,000 will go toward a seismic assessment of existing Lower Mainland dikes to withstand seismic events, which will provide vital information about risks and vulnerabilities in those communities. This funding will allow for the field testing of almost 50 structures. This information will provide vital information toward developing seismic design guidelines for diking infrastructure.
- $330,000 will support the cross-sectional sonar survey of the Fraser River bottom to assist the FBC in its proposed development of flood-hazard analysis tools and modelling of the floodplain. This data will also assist in upgrades to the current river model used for freshet forecasting, to provide more accurate information to the public and stakeholders.
The Province is working to better align provincial initiatives and programs to identify natural hazard risks and address mitigation priorities throughout B.C., a strategy which will complement and augment the work of the FBC.
John Martin, MLA for Chilliwack –
“The investment made in the McGillivray Pump Station will go a long way in protecting Chilliwack from the risk of floods. This investment, alongside the funds provided to the Fraser Basin Council to get a better understanding of flood and seismic risk throughout the Fraser Valley, will ensure that we are better informed and can be better prepared in the future. The investments made in communities will also provide Chilliwack an opportunity to move forward on other projects to protect against floods.”
Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness –
“The over $80 million in investments in community emergency preparedness will help us better withstand floods, fires, or earthquakes that could impact our province. Emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility that begins in every home, in every business and across all levels of government. This funding is another of many provincial investments and initiatives to help keep British Columbians safe.”
Bill Adams, vice-president, Western & Pacific, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) –
“Disasters can have lasting physical and financial impacts on Canadian communities. That is why the Insurance Bureau of Canada and Canada’s property and casualty insurers are committed to working with all levels of government to help make our country safer, stronger, and more resilient. IBC applauds this important funding announcement which will help municipalities across British Columbia better prepare for disasters. As a partner in emergency preparedness, IBC will continue to work with all stakeholders to make our cities and towns more resilient in the face of increasingly frequent and severe natural disasters.”
- Over $60 million in flood mitigation investments in a number of communities is represented in the March 15, 2017, announcement of over $80 million in emergency preparedness. Since 2008, the Province has committed $182.7 million towards flood mitigation projects in over 200 communities in B.C.
March 15 announcement of over $80 million in emergency preparedness: http://ow.ly/HLN4309YrGO
BC Government flood prevention and planning: http://ow.ly/HeWh3007cDc
PreparedBC provides resources on how to build and emergency kit and how to prepare family and community for emergencies: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/preparedbc
Follow on Twitter: @EmergencyInfoBC and @PreparedBC