City of Courtenay needs flood feedback

What do you think Courtenay should do to reduce the potential for damage from future floods?

THIS IS WHAT the area near Lewis Park looked like during flooding in November 2009.

THIS IS WHAT the area near Lewis Park looked like during flooding in November 2009.

What do you think Courtenay should do to reduce the potential for damage from future floods? The City is looking for input from residents through an online survey.

Derek Richmond, the City’s manager of engineering, said there will always be some level of risk associated with flooding, but it is possible to reduce the potential or severity of future floods.

“There are several options,” noted Richmond. “Mitigation of flood risks can be addressed through ‘hard’ methods, such as dikes, dams, or levees. There are also ‘soft’ methods such as zoning, land use control, emergency management and warnings.”

The City held a community workshop last week to go over the options with members of the public, presenting flood modelling maps as well as details of the risks posed by climate change and sea level rise. At the workshop, participants viewed animations showing several flooding scenarios, including the 2009 Courtenay flood and possible future floods resulting from high tides and rain.

The 2009 flood caused road closures and flooded buildings in some low-lying areas of the city.

“We’d like to lower the potential for flood damage in the future,” said Richmond. “For those affected, it was a terrible situation and it takes a long time to recover from that. There are things we can do to reduce the risk, and we’d like to hear from the public what they think is the best course of action.”

The City is asking the public to review the presentation material available at www.courtenay.ca, then take the online survey. The deadline to respond is Nov. 30.

Feedback will assist in providing direction for future long-range planning as well as short-term protection work planned for 2013.

For more information, contact the Engineering Division at 250-334-4441 or e-mail engineering@courtenay.ca.

— City of Courtenay

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