City of Courtenay considering fourth option to cope with flooding

Courtenay is seriously considering the Estuary Working Group's recommendations for flood relief.

THESE ARE THREE options for flood mitigation as listed the in Courtenay's January flood management study draft recommendations report. The City is now considering a fourth flood relief-based scenario after suggestions from the Estuary Working Group.

After a delegation to council and an on-site floodplain meeting, Courtenay is seriously considering the Estuary Working Group’s recommendations for flood relief.

City engineering manager Derek Richmond couldn’t confirm the working group’s request that a flood relief-based scenario will be run through Courtenay’s modelling system predicting flood levels. But, he says it’s likely after seeing exactly what the group proposes.

“We did get the message,” Richmond said late last week. “There are some very valid points in what they bring up and it’s another area that we certainly are including in our deliberations of options.

“It’s a matter of trying to figure out how we can run that (flood relief-based scenario) and incorporate some of the ideas that we’ve got in the overarching study, and we should have an answer on that fairly quickly here. Once we figure out what can be done and when it can be done, then we’ll be talking to the consultants about moving to the next phase, which obviously is to rerun the model.”

Don Castleden and Wayne White of the Estuary Working Group branch of Project Watershed last week presented suggestions for a flood relief-only option to include in the City’s flood management study.

The three current options are: a flood wall along the old channel of the Tsolum River by Lewis Park, an area ring dike, or a partial ring dike with a floodway.

But Castleden and White had concerns around how all three options try to block the water through physical structures.

“Essentially it’s more of a tradeoff than preventing the flooding; it’s pushing the flooding back upstream,” White told council. “You’re just trying to put a greater amount of water through the same size outlet; it means your lake behind it is going to go up.”

Maple Pool Campsite and K’ómoks First Nation land upstream of the proposed structures are a couple of places he said could be affected by these options.

Instead, White and Castleden requested an option in which a floodway would be made through to the Comox Bay Farm (formerly Farquharson Farm) fields, allowing the water to take its original, natural route.

Lowering area roads, like Puntledge Road, was one idea to direct water towards the fields.

“To lower them essentially to try to protect the businesses that are in the area, and the road (Puntledge Road) more or less ends at Highway 19A,” explained White. “So that’s the logical spot to essentially put a bypass or an underpass for that water to get into the field areas there.”

He acknowledged the relief option may not work over time due to increased flows and climate change, and some more “intrusive” options may need to be implemented. But they stressed a flood relief-first approach would minimize that need in the future.

Richmond noted if the new scenario is generated using the City’s software, it may not be exactly what the working group is looking for down to every last detail.

But the City “could certainly see some combinations of what they’re looking at and what our consultants have looked at to date,” he added. “And I think we came out with a very clear direction that there’s certainly a good compromise on a lot of very practical suggestions that were included by the estuary group.”

The final flood management study was originally set to come out this month, but Richmond said it will be a little later.

“We want to get it out right. We want to get the right study out with the right direction for the right reasons and if that means delaying it a little bit, you know, maybe by a month, not a big deal,” he said. “This is a long, far-reaching direction that we’re heading for so we want to make sure that we get it right.”

For more information on the study, visit www.courtenay.ca.

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Just Posted

Portables arrive for students on Hornby Island

Five portable classrooms have officially arrived on Hornby Island this week in… Continue reading

Cumberland multi-use development given the go-ahead despite parking concerns

Rideout Construction will pay $91,200 in lieu of 24 parking stalls

Union Bay police standoff ends peacefully

A police standoff in Union Bay was resolved peacefully Monday evening. According… Continue reading

First North Island College Artist Talk Series of 2019 features Barb Hunt

Internationally renown Canadian artist speaks at Stan Hagen Theatre

Frustrated Mariner Apartments residents find few answers in community meeting

Tensions were high Monday evening for frustrated renters of Mariner Apartments in… Continue reading

VIDEO: Car flies across median, flips over edge of B.C. overpass

Dash cam footage shows vehicle speeding across Brunette Avenue overpass in Coquitlam

Bob Castle’s Under The Glacier cartoon for Jan. 15, 2019

Bob Castle’s Under The Glacier cartoon for Jan. 15, 2019… Continue reading

Second fatal crash occurs in Alberni Valley

Traffic on Highway 4 is being re-routed as investigators are en route

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups an increasing concern: Goodale

Ten people died in April 2018 when Alek Minassian allegedly drove a rental van down the busy stretch in Toronto

Canadian stock exchanges to conduct lottery for ‘POT’ ticker amid high demand

The symbol became available after fertilizer Potash Corp. officially merged with Agrium Inc. in early 2018

VIDEO: Mattress fire at Cowichan Hospital under investigation

The Cowichan District Hospital was locked down on Tuesday afternoon due to… Continue reading

Most Read