B.C. provides $4M for flood mitigation in Abbotsford
April 19, 2016 by Corinne Lynds
ABBOTSFORD – As part of the public safety funding announced in the 2016 provincial budget, the Province of British Columbia is committing $4 million in funding for shoreline flood mitigation projects in Abbotsford. If left un-repaired, the shoreline could undermine the dike protecting the Matsqui Prairie and important regional infrastructure.
The project builds on similar repairs to erosion arcs in areas different from those repaired by the local authority last year. It will provide stabilization of river banks along the Fraser River to help protect nearly 5,000 hectares of agricultural land, the historic Clayburn and Matsqui Village, Matsqui First Nations and major regional infrastructure like Highway 11, railways, the National Defence communications centre, BC Hydro towers, gas mains, and water and community wastewater facilities.
The provincial investment is part of more than $49 million being provided to flood mitigation projects in communities throughout B.C.
“Emergencies and natural disasters, such as wildfires, floods and earthquakes are inevitable in British Columbia. It is our priority to ensure our province is the most prepared in the country and part of that preparedness is developing ways to mitigate risks to the safety of British Columbians before a disaster can strike,” said Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness Naomi Yamamoto.
In the 2016 budget, the B.C. government announced $65 million in initiatives to help keep communities safe, including $16 million for public-safety preparedness initiatives and $49 million for community hazard mitigation projects, such as upgrades to dikes and flood protection.
Leading up to the 2016 budget, British Columbia has invested significantly in flood mitigation and prevention. Since 2008, the Province has invested in 156 projects worth $145 million: $62 million provided provincially, $46 million federally and $37 million in funding from the local authority.
“This substantial investment by the Province of B.C. will help us to ensure we can protect our community from the flood risks posed by the erosion arcs in the Fraser River. In undertaking this work, we are taking proactive steps to keep our community and our people safe. I am grateful to the Province for their continued support of Abbotsford,” said Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun.
- Seven erosion arcs have formed along the south bank of the Fraser River between the northerly tip of Matsqui Prairie and Sumas Mountain since 1997. This section of river bank is prone to erosion and rock protection was originally placed along the bank in 1971 and 1983.
- Scouring along the south bank continues to be a significant problem. The river flow is changing direction causing scouring and deepening at the base of the bank. This eventually undermines the rock protection causing the rock to move, resulting in bank erosion and movement. The erosion arcs visible above the water level are only the “tip of the iceberg” and most of the damage is occurring underneath the water level.
BC Government flood prevention and planning: http://bit.ly/1OkJDa7