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Telkwa hopes to repair dike before spring

Engineering done and now Village is looking for a contractor before the record snow pack melts.
The river rushes under the Telkwa bridges May 31 during a high flow advisory that ended June 3 last spring. (Chris Gareau photo)

A portion of a dike in Telkwa is in dire need of repairs and the Village is looking for someone to fix it.

Telkwa has two dikes and the one on the Telkwa River that runs from the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako boundary across to Cottonwood and on to a higher elevation of land for about 150 metres is the one that needs repairs.

“We basically knew that we had to repair that to really secure the Cottonwood neighbourhood from flooding in the event of another serious flood incident because it removed all of the rip rap there,” said Telkwa Mayor Darcy Repen.

The Village held a special meeting in November to approve utilization of a dike reserve fund to immediately enter into tendering of services to hire an engineer on how to address the damage and how to re-enforce that diking system.

“There is about 200 feet of bank that will be affected but we won’t be digging in the river. The engineering is to ensure there is a set-back and a buffer from the river so in terms of sentiment and fish habitat, we are actually keeping back from the edge to dig down and recreate a much more sold dike,” said Repen.

Council isn’t sure how much it will cost to fix and still have the project out to tender.

“One of the parameters is that the contractor can start in March. So if council approves [a bid] the expectation is that we will move forward with ground work [soon]. There is no frost in the ground because of the heavy snow so it is a unique year where we can actually do some digging prior to spring thaw just because we had such a heavy snow and early in the year so much of the frost didn’t set into the ground,” said Repen.

Repen added he knows the heavy snow also has a downside.

“We know we have a record snow pack in Telkwa so we don’t want to be left hanging [when it melts.]”

Marisca Bakker

About the Author: Marisca Bakker

Marisca was born and raised in Ontario and moved to Smithers almost ten years ago on a one-year contract.
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