Pitt Meadows flooding in 2005. (THE NEWS/files)

Pitt Meadows gets some help for flood plan

$412,000, but not for dike upgrades

After saying last month that Pitt Meadows needed a large chunk of cash to protect against flooding of Fraser or Pitt rivers, the senior governments have come forward with a bit of help.

This week, the City of Pitt Meadows received $412,000 from Ottawa’s National Disaster Mitigation Program to help the city develop a flood mitigation plan. The provincial and federal governments are each chipping in $206,000, while the city adding $12,000 in services.

Mayor Bill Dingwall said much of the city is vulnerable to flooding. “This plan will help identify gaps and develop priorities to protect residents, farms and businesses in the event of a major floor or breach in our dike system,” he said in a release.

The city’s also leading an initiative with Metro Vancouver to develop a region-wide strategy.

Work has already begun on the plan with completion expected in spring 2020. The intent is to establish a pro-active risk mitigation approach that will minimize impacts.

Read more: Pitt Meadows seeks partners in flood protection

Dingwall said last month that Pitt Meadows needs $100 million in dike upgrades. He said dikes and flood protection infrastructure across the Lower Mainland were built to a standard that does not measure up to new flooding models in rivers swelled by climate change and sea level rise. The dikes need to be higher to keep the water out, and in order to withstand earthquakes, the dikes need to be wider.

In 2018, the city completed the federally-funded Flood Hazardous Risk Assessment, which showed that the dike system does not meet current standards based on climate change, sea level rise, and seismic design, which poses an increased risk of flooding.

About 86 per cent of the land in Pitt Meadows is flood plain.

There are 20 such flood mitigation plans underway in B.C.



pmelnychuk@mapleridgenews.com

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