June 23, 2016 by Canadian Underwriter
British Columbia’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced on Wednesday $750,000 in funding for flood mitigation projects in the province’s Kelowna and Delta areas.
The ministry said in a press release on Wednesday that it is committing $550,000 in funding toward a flood mitigation project in Delta that will reduce the risk of property damage. In a separate press release later that day, the ministry added that it was committing $200,000 in funding toward a flood mitigation project in the Central Okanagan that will help protect against flooding in the Lower Mission neighbourhood of Kelowna.
The $825,000 Delta project includes a $275,000 contribution from the Corporation of Delta. The combined funding will help Delta upgrade the foreshore and seawall protecting over 2,000 residents in areas that have been hit by frequent flooding, the ministry said in the release.
Delta is embarking on two projects that will mitigate flood risk arising from high tides, storm surges and wind-driven waves. In the Beach Grove area, the city will replace a section of deteriorating seawall that has developed large cracks. The second area targeted for mitigation is a 450-metre section of dike in Boundary Bay at the southern end of 96th Street, where the city will install large material to minimize debris deposits and damage from storms.
The Beach Grove project is to be complete by the end of September and the Boundary Bay project by the end of April 2017. Both areas are at risk of flooding from high tides and storms.
“This funding will not only strengthen our defences against unforeseen weather events, it will also mitigate the effects of climate change and strengthen our community by providing safety, economic security and peace of mind to our residents and businesses,” said Lois Jackson, Mayor of the Corporation of Delta.
The release noted that a storm in February 2006 topped the high water level mark on the beach and sea water was carried through Delta’s beach accesses and private front properties on to Centennial Parkway. Delta’s storm and sanitary sewers were overwhelmed and public and private property damage resulted. Waves carrying large amounts of woody debris caused erosion to the dike in East Delta. The storm and resulting damage was so severe that city council declared a state of emergency in 2014 when a combination of high winds and tides battered the shores, causing localized flooding and the collapse of a private seawall.
The other project involves $200,000 in funding toward a flood mitigation project in the Central Okanagan area that will help protect against flooding in Kelowna’s Lower Mission neighbourhood. The $300,000 project includes a $100,000 contribution from the Regional District of Central Okanagan and will protect homes, schools, civic infrastructure and the regional ecosystem found in Woodhaven Nature Conservancy Regional Park, the release said.
The district plans to complete an engineering assessment and study leading to the replacement of a deteriorating headwall and intake structure on Bellevue Creek and upgrade approximately 185 metres of aging dike that protects properties in the same area. The project will protect an estimated $350 million in public assets including schools, parks and civic infrastructure, in addition to over 1000 residential properties, the release said.
In February, the B.C. government announced $65 million to help keep communities safe, including $50 million for community hazard-mitigation projects, such as upgrades to dikes and flood protection, and $15 million for public safety preparedness.