$750,000 in flood protection funding announced today for Pemberton Valley and the SLRD

Mar 31, 2017
Electoral Area C, Village of Pemberton

Photographed above on the banks of the Lillooet River in Pemberton, BC are (from left to right): Mike Richman (Mayor of Pemberton), John Beks (Board Trustee for the Pemberton Valley Dyking District), Jordan Sturdy (MLA for West Vancouver-Sea to Sky), Steve Flynn (Operations Manager of the Pemberton Valley Dyking District), Ryan Wainwright (Emergency Services Manager for the SLRD), Lynda Flynn (CAO of the SLRD), Russell Mack (Director for Area C of the SLRD). 
Below: John Beks and Steve Flynn join MLA Jordan Sturdy on the steps of the Pemberton Valley Dyking District for the announcement that the PVDD will receive $600,000 in funding for floodplain mapping.

The province announced today a $600,00 injection of funding into flood protection and emergency preparedness in Pemberton and Area C and an additional $150,000 for flood risk assessment, floodplain mapping and flood mitigation planning in the SLRD.

On January 9, the SLRD had co-written a letter to the Minister of Forests, Lands & Natural Resource Operations, from the Pemberton Valley Dyking District, SLRD, Village of Pemberton and Lil'wat Nation, advocating for updated river modelling and improved and better integration of river monitoring information, so that officials are in a better position to respond to high water events, which have been happening more dramatically since the Mt Meager landslide of 2010 and the Boulder Complex wildfire of 2015.

The details of the provincial news release are below.

Province invests in flood protection

As part of the Province’s investment of over $80 million in emergency preparedness and public safety, MLA for West Vancouver-Sea to Sky Jordan Sturdy announced support for flood prevention projects on behalf of Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness Naomi Yamamoto.

This includes $600,000 through the BC Disaster Mitigation Program, which will be used for projects including floodplain mapping for the Pemberton Valley Diking District to create new modernized floodplain maps for portions of the Lillooet River valley between Lillooet Forest Service Bridge and Lillooet Lake; the lower Birkenhead River; the Ryan River; Miller Creek; and Pemberton Tributary channels.

Present floodplain mapping for these areas dates back to the early 1990s and is now outdated for proper flood emergency response and flood protection infrastructure upgrade planning.

The Province also provided an additional $150,000 for flood risk assessment, floodplain mapping and flood mitigation planning in the Squamish Lillooet Regional District.

In addition, as part of $2.13 million provided to the Fraser Basin Council (FBC), $1 million will benefit the region in supporting the FBC to conduct an inventory and engineering assessment of all orphan or unmanaged dikes in British Columbia. This assessment will evaluate the structural conditions of the dikes and determine the cost to upgrade the dikes to provincial standard and to acquire at-risk properties. The goal of this project is to assess the risks to local communities and to help facilitate the transfer of diking authority to local governments.

This is all a part of a broader investment of more than $80 million in emergency preparedness and mitigation. Some of these investments, which will have positive benefits throughout the province include:

  • $32 million to the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund to be administered by Union of British Columbia Municipalities  that will include items like $3 million for flood-risk assessments, floodplain maps and flood mitigation plans, $20 million to fund flood mitigation projects, and $4.2 million emergency social services.
  • $5.5 million for the BC Search and Rescue Association for essential supports to search and rescue (SAR) volunteers, the SAR prevention program AdventureSmart, the acquisition, maintenance and upgrading of rescue equipment, and deployable communication systems to assist in communication in B.C.’s backcountry.
  • $500,000 to Avalanche Canada to support public education and avalanche alert throughout B.C.
  • $100,000 to Provincial Emergency Program (PEP) Air to support capital purchases and recognize the effort of the volunteer air search and rescue teams throughout the province.

Quotes:

Jordan Sturdy, MLA for West Vancouver-Sea to Sky –

“Given the many hazards that exist in our province and the unpredictability of natural disasters, the citizens of B.C. and all levels of government rely on a network of public-safety organizations that provide help in times of need and that develop response planning. Today’s announcement directs funding to the emergency response agencies that deliver that helping hand during emergencies and invests in developing safe and strong communities.”

Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness –

“The over $80 million in investments in community emergency preparedness will help us better withstand floods, fires, or earthquakes that could impact our province. Emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility that begins in every home, in every business and across all levels of government. This funding is another of many provincial investments and initiatives to help keep British Columbians safe.”

Bill Adams, vice-president, Western & Pacific, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) –

“Disasters can have lasting physical and financial impacts on Canadian communities. That is why the Insurance Bureau of Canada and Canada’s property and casualty insurers are committed to working with all levels of government to help make our country safer, stronger, and more resilient. IBC applauds this important funding announcement which will help municipalities across British Columbia better prepare for disasters. As a partner in emergency preparedness, IBC will continue to work with all stakeholders to make our cities and towns more resilient in the face of increasingly frequent and severe natural disasters.”

Quick Fact:

Over $60 million in flood mitigation investments in a number of communities is represented in the March 15, 2017, announcement of over $80 million in emergency preparedness. Since 2008, the Province has committed $182.7 million towards flood mitigation projects in over 200 communities in B.C.

Learn More:

March 15, 2017, announcement of over $80 million in emergency preparedness: http://ow.ly/HLN4309YrGO

B.C. government flood prevention and planning: http://ow.ly/HeWh3007cDc

PreparedBC provides resources on how to build and emergency kit and how to prepare family and community for emergencies: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/preparedbc

Follow on Twitter: @EmergencyInfoBC and @PreparedBC

Media Contact: 

Jeannette Nadon,
Communications & Grants Coordinator
Telephone: (604) 894-6371 ext. 239
Email: jnadon@slrd.bc.ca

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