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HomeCanadian NewsMetropolis of Abbotsford eyes flood protections doubtlessly costing billions

Metropolis of Abbotsford eyes flood protections doubtlessly costing billions


Plan requires a second enormous pumping station and 14 kilometres of latest dikes

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A brand new flood safety plan — probably costing billions of {dollars} — might be thought of by Abbotsford Metropolis council on Monday. It contains constructing new dikes, transferring again a dike to create a flood-water storage space and constructing a brand new pumping station.

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After suggestions from the general public, metropolis employees are recommending acceptance of a plan that pulls in components from three of the 4 preliminary choices, two of which price $2 billion or extra.

A price for this new, merged possibility remains to be being ready.

If the council votes in favour of the plan, the town will start searching for funding from the provincial and federal governments.

In a press release, metropolis officers stated implementing this new hybrid possibility would improve the town’s current flood safety system whereas maximizing agricultural land and meals safety and minimizing the variety of affected properties.

The town’s plan is supposed not solely to revive injury from the devastating flooding final November however to extend safety.

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“The popular possibility is of great magnitude and would profit from a multi-year phasing program,” metropolis officers Stella Chiu and Rob Isaac stated in a report back to council.

Employees are suggesting that in a primary section a brand new Sumas River pump station be constructed, the resiliency of the prevailing Barrowtown pumping station be improved and that momentary repairs on the Sumas River dike get replaced with everlasting works.

Abbotsford is only one of amongst dozens of B.C. communities that want beefed-up flood protections, totalling a minimum of $13 billion, in keeping with a Postmedia investigation that discovered authorities efforts have fallen quick of what’s wanted to correctly defend communities from an anticipated enhance in flooding and wildfires fuelled by local weather change.

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Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun has stated earlier the group of 150,000 can’t probably pay for the pricey flood safety plan by itself given its property tax base.

Final November, Abbotsford was amongst a number of B.C. communities devastated by flooding after it was hit by a record-breaking deluge of rain from a tropical storm in a brief time frame, a system referred to as an atmospheric river.

Abbotsford’s dikes have been breached and the Nooksack River in Washington state simply south of the border topped its banks sending extra water north. It led to the evacuation of greater than 3,000 folks in Abbotsford from 1,100 properties and likewise destroyed crops and killed livestock, together with tens of 1000’s of chickens, pigs and cows. Some folks stay out of their properties.

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Underneath the brand new plan, about 14 kilometres of dikes could be constructed by way of the western portion of the Sumas Prairie, an space the place a lake was drained within the Nineteen Twenties to create agricultural land, and alongside the Canada-U. S. border.

Within the occasion of a future overflow from the Nooksack River, water is anticipated to be unfold out by way of the west facet of Sumas Prairie. The water would then move by way of a slim, designated floodway to the Sumas and Fraser Rivers, moved by a brand new Sumas River pump station.

Further water storage and a brand new environmental space might be created by relocating the dike alongside the north facet of Freeway 1.

The B.C. and federal governments have promised assist for communities to construct flood resiliency, though most funding thus far has been directed towards the price of responding and recovering from the flood.

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Following a gathering on Friday of a joint federal-B.C. authorities committee on catastrophe response and local weather resilience created after the November floods, federal Public Security Minister Invoice Blair stated the federal government realizes it has to maneuver from restoration to constructing resiliency.

“That’s a part of the necessary work earlier than us,” stated Blair.

ghoekstra@postmedia.com

twitter.com/gordon_hoekstra


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