City workers installed an aqua dam — a water-filled

Aqua dam passes the test

  • Nov. 23, 2015 7:00 p.m.

Scott Stanfield

Record staff

 

The City of Courtenay has acquired a new piece of equipment that can be used in flood control efforts. Called an aqua dam, workers tested the water-filled, portable device Thursday on the Old Island Highway between Ryan and Headquarters roads near the Puntledge Business District — the epicentre of last December’s storm.

In the event of a flood, the metre-high dam will create a barrier, protecting up to two-thirds the height of the aqua dam.

“You’ve got water basically holding back water,” CAO David Allen said. “Once it gets up to two-thirds you’re at your max in terms of what it will hold back. But that’s still two feet, which is quite a bit compared to what we had on the road in some spots (last winter). We had maybe a foot or so.”

The City has one trailer with 440 metres worth of aqua dam in different sections, and another trailer on order. If flooding occurs, the trailers can be deployed in the low spots identified in flood mitigation mapping.

“Hopefully we dodge a bullet this year,” Allen said.

The dam, trailers, pumps and other pieces of equipment are worth about $100,000, purchased with federal gas tax funds.

Other flood control measures will include a manhole blocking system to prevent water from surging back into the drainage system from the river.

“It’s like a big bladder,” Allen said. “Eventually we’ll get valves that have backflow prevention devices on them.”

Public works crews have also begun stockpiling sandbags, to be staged and deployed if necessary.

Last winter’s storm was the largest-ever flood to hit Courtenay. The Fifth Street Bridge and several roads were closed, as was the Lewis Centre, the LINC Youth Centre and the Airpark. Homes and businesses near the Tsolum, Puntledge and Courtenay rivers were evacuated.

 

Just Posted

Comox Valley RCMP seeking witnesses of attempted sexual assault

The Comox Valley RCMP is looking for witnesses after an attempted sexual… Continue reading

UPDATE: Vehicle rams boat into Courtenay home

Driver failed sobriety test, issued roadside prohibition and released; no charges to be laid

Jangula denounces Culture Guard endorsement

Has asked to be removed from list

Preliminary inquiry for Island resident facing numerous charges in Comox Valley shooting

A 27-year-old Saanich resident had his preliminary hearing in Courtenay Wednesday as… Continue reading

B.C. NDP retreats again on empty-home tax for urban areas

Rate reduced for all Canadians, dissident mayors to get annual meeting

B.C. woman looks to reduce stigma surrounding weed-smoking moms

Shannon Chiarenza, a Vancouver mom of two, started weedmama.ca to act as a guide for newcomers to legal cannabis, specifically mothers

B.C. teen gives away tickets to Ellen Degeneres show, plans O Canada welcome

The Grade 9 student wanted to give away tickets in the spirit of inclusivity

Canada’s top general takes aim at new reports of military sexual assault

Gen. Jonathan Vance is unhappy some troops continue to ignore his order to cease all sexual misconduct

Ignoring climate change poses potential catastrophe for B.C.

Fisheries scientist says ‘extraordinary challenges’ in water management lie ahead

B.C. grow ops left in legal weeds post-legalization

“I think people are going to get a big surprise that it’s not going to change things much.”

Driving with dope: Police talk rules on cannabis in the car

Even though pot is legal, you can’t smoke in the car

B.C. teens fined for possession of pot on legalization day

The pair received $230 fines for smoking pot in public

Most Read