Courtenay proceeding with flood prevention measures

The first phase of the Tsolum River Flood Wall project is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

THIS IMAGE DEPICTS the 2009 flood in the Lewis Park area of Courtenay. It's a product of aerial photography and LiDAR completed during the Integrated Flood Management Study of the area around the Courtenay

THIS IMAGE DEPICTS the 2009 flood in the Lewis Park area of Courtenay. It's a product of aerial photography and LiDAR completed during the Integrated Flood Management Study of the area around the Courtenay

The first phase of the Tsolum River Flood Wall project is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

Mark DeGagne of McElhanney Consulting Services gave Courtenay council an update about the first phase, flood plain mapping and modelling, of the project during Monday’s council meeting.

Since last spring, McElhanny Consulting Services and Kerr Wood Leidal have been studying Courtenay’s flood plain; aerial photography and LiDAR (like radar with a laser), flood plain mapping, flood forecast simulations and flood mitigation options for the long- and short-term are all part of the study.

Noting the floods in the Lewis Park area of Courtenay during 2009 and 2010, he presented a working model simulation of flooding from the Courtenay, Puntledge and Tsolum rivers — which he said the team is just putting the final touches on.

According to a Courtenay staff report, “having an accurate model illustrating flooding extents is critical to ensuring the Tsolum River Flood Wall is constructed in the right location and at the correct elevation.”

The proposed flood wall is along the old channel of the Tsolum River near the Old Island Highway and the base of Ryan Road, according to the study.

Courtenay received provincial funding approval for two thirds of the project cost to a maximum of $471,000 in January and over $700,000 has been set aside for the project in Courtenay’s 2012 Capital Budget.

DeGagne noted public meetings were held in June to introduce the project and request feedback. Another public meeting is scheduled for mid-November, which will show flood scenarios.

The project team will then simulate up to three different mitigation options, including the flood wall, and go back to the public to display those options for feedback.

Final recommendations to council are expected by the end of the year.

“From there, the City will be able to determine whether the flood wall is a worthwhile project, or something along those lines, and go into the next two phases of the project,” said DeGagne.

According to the City staff report, the second phase of the project includes project approvals and design with an estimated completion date of March. The third phase includes tendering and construction with an estimated completion date of December 2013.

DeGagne pointed out the options in his report will not only include “hard options” like building dykes or raising roads, but will also provide planning tools for the City in terms of bylaw and land use changes.

“The flood construction level is obviously something that’s going to be dynamic — if we do get the climatic change and sea level rise that we’re predicting, you’ll be able to know in the future what to expect and how to plan for it so that’s another important part of this tool,” he told council.

He said the study will also look at tide levels in the Courtenay River Estuary because storm surge combined with high tides is a factor in flooding.

“The function of the river is both a function of tide levels and what’s coming down the river, so even though you may not have a whole lot of water coming down the river, if you have a significant southeaster, you may have a significant impact,” he said.

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The platanthera dilatata is the fragrant white bog orchid whose perfume on a hot August day is one of the unforgettable delights of a summer hike in Strathcona Park. Photo supplied
Strathcona Wilderness Institute AGM upcoming

The Strathcona Wilderness Institute (SWI) will hold its 2021 annual general meeting… Continue reading

An Island Health nurse prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy Island Health)
Health authority opening 19 clinics to immunize Vancouver Island residents

Health authority anticipates more than 40,000 people will be immunized over the next month

Cumberland council is backing the business association again. File photo
Cumberland backs homeless veteran count

Briefs: Council continues support for business association

Courtenay Nissan’s Matthew Bourassa, Geoff Piper and Sean LaFleur join YANA’s Ashley Smith, Kelly Rusk and Lisa Wilcox for the 4x4x48 event to raise funds. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Courtenay Nissan eats and runs for YANA

Dealership realized non-profit groups need new ways to raise funds during COVID

Rev. Sulin Milne at St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Comox is part of those helping distribute food to those in need within the town. Photo by Jim Peacock
Comox church serving the community with food through COVID-19

“We knew there were so many people who were facing economic challenges …”

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Most Read