Thursday, May 5, 2022 1:00 p.m.
To help reduce flood risk, the province is awarding Merritt $329,000 for a project to update flood risk mapping and develop new flood mitigation plans.
The province is funding flood mitigation planning projects in several communities affected by the November 2021 floods to help them prepare for the 2022 flood and build long-term resilience. Flooding in spring or early summer caused by heavy rain or snowmelt is called flooding.
“The province is always there to support communities in their recovery from disasters and to help them build back better and more resilient to climate change. We know that a changing climate means more intense and frequent disasters, and it’s critical that communities across the province prepare and adapt,” said Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness. “Through this funding, we are helping communities plan ahead with the goal of preventing flooding where possible and minimizing the effects on our communities and the people of British Columbia.
The funding will allow Merritt to update its flood hazard maps and conduct a hydrotechnical assessment to develop short- and long-term flood mitigation plans in response to November floods. FFlood mitigation planning helps the community develop strategies to protect people and property from flood risk. Work will begin immediately.
“Communities affected by last year’s flooding worked hard to build back better,” said Roly Russell, MPP for Boundary-Similkameen. “As extreme and unpredictable weather becomes more frequent, we must do what we can to keep the people and things we care about safe. I am happy to see these communities receiving this funding so they can plan for future risk reduction, while using creative solutions to rebuild. Our government is working on changes so that we are better prepared to respond to and recover from natural disasters with our local government partners in the future.
Hydrotechnical assessment can also be used to support requests for additional provincial or federal funding for disaster mitigation and climate change adaptation.
“Shortly after the emergency, the city began working on long-term flood mitigation planning, modeling and levee design,” said Linda Brown, Mayor of Merritt. “The funds provided by the province will cover the costs of creating a detailed flood mitigation plan which is expected to be completed by June. This plan will then be used to support a request to the federal government in July for funding to complete the work under this plan. Our goal in this project is to better protect our community from flooding, support the river ecosystem, and where possible, allow for recreational trail opportunities along any potential levee system.
Funding comes from Emergency Management BC’s disaster mitigation budget.