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Maple Ridge residents meeting to pool ideas about flood control

Alouette Valley flood fears on the agenda for meeting at Yennadon Elementary
Flooding near Humble Roots Cafe in November 2021. (Neil Corbett/The News)

Residents of the Alouette Valley will be hosting an upcoming public meeting to discuss the flooding issues experienced in the valley.

The meeting is set for Oct. 5, at 7 p.m. at Yennadon Elementary School.

Asked whether it is unusual for a residents group to be leading this discussion, rather than city hall, organizer Barry Lyster lets his frustration show.

“We basically feel we’ve been abandoned by the city, and they’re not helping us with our concerns and needs around flooding,” he said.

Lyster has had water flow into his house on 132nd Avenue in the past, and he and his neighbours were worried about the potential damage from flooding during the atmospheric river events in November of 2021. There was unprecedented rainfall, and the city put some 800 residents who live along the North and South Alouette Rivers on evacuation alert.

READ ALSO: Atmospheric rivers bring record rainfall and flooding

Roads were flooded and were closed in Maple Ridge, but Abbotsford’s Sumas Prairie experienced a catastrophic flood during that time.

“We are all getting very concerned with the way things are, especially with the new weather patterns,” said Lyster. “We see how other cities are being very proactive.

He believes the city should be more prepared for high-water events, and sees straightforward steps like removing gravel from the channels, and ensuring there are no log jams creating barriers.

The meeting on Wednesday will offer a short presentation on the history and challenges the area currently faces with the North Alouette River, and how water management on the South Alouette River could have catastrophic impacts on the area. Recent meetings with the City of Maple Ridge and their responses will also be shared.

Lyster said the meeting will provide information for everyone living in the effected areas including Silver Valley, Yennadon, Fern Crescent and the Alouette Valley. Residents are hoping to collaborate with stakeholders to develop both short and long-term sustainable goals to mitigate flood impacts in the Alouette River Valley.

READ ALSO: Insurance industry representative calls for better B.C. flood mapping

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Neil Corbett

About the Author: Neil Corbett

I have been a journalist for more than 30 years, the past decade with the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News.
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