High water on the Bulkley River in Telkwa last year. Village council is hoping a preliminary report on flood mitigation will help them get the funding they need to upgrade the dike system for a 200-year flood event. (Eric Becker photo)

Estimate on Telkwa flood mitigation tops $1 million

A preliminary report on Telkwa’s flood readiness recommends new pumping stations and dike upgrades

The Village of Telkwa has received a preliminary report on flood mitigation.

The study, conducted by Golder Associates recommends four main structural measures the Village should take in order to be prepared for a 200-year flood event. These are: replacing current culverts with flood boxes, diking maintenance, diking upgrades and installation of pumping stations.

A very high-level cost estimate was provided which included $75,100 for flood boxes, $519,700 for pumping stations, $88,000 for dike maintenance and $508,600 for dike upgrades. Golder estimated post-construction maintenance at $16,300 annually on the dikes.

The estimate did not include things such as handling of hazardous materials, relocation of utilities, development of environmental plans, permitting and a number of other unknowns that the company could not anticipate and for which a more fulsome engineering plan will be required.

Recommendations also include non-structural measures including contingency planning, regulatory measures and public education.

At its April 9 general meeting village council accepted the report for information.

Mayor Brad Layton said the Village commissioned the report because of downloading of responsibility for the dikes from the province.

“It’s something that we’ve never had the funds to deal with properly, but with the flood event we had in the fall a year-and-a-half ago now, where we lost part of the dike, it became apparent that we need to work with the Province,” he said.

The Village did get some funding to replace the section of the dike lost in 2017.

“They also made available at that time a 150,000 dollar grant to be able to do this plan, to show us where our weaknesses are and where we need to be compared to the standard of the 200-year flood,” Layton said, adding now they need to find a way of accessing money to actually doing the work.

During discussions around the recent $3.6 million in infrastructure funding Telkwa received, Layton suggested some of that money should be used to do the kind of engineering plans flood mitigation would require, so the Village would be ready to apply for funding.

“It will be something we’ll be discussing with the Province and the feds as well to see if there’s grants available for that because we need to get to there,” he said. “Global warming, whether you agree with it or not, we’re seeing sooner melts and faster melts, so it’s definitely something we have to do for the safety of our community and next to sewer and water, safety is the biggest thing.”

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