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Grand Forks City Council takes bold moves following spring flooding

Council decides to pursue buy-out of high flood risk neighbourhood and to build new dikes. — Twitter photo

Following record flooding this past spring, Grand Forks City Council announced in a media release Tuesday its intent to proceed with permanent flood protection options to pursue for neighbourhoods that were most affected by the 2018 freshet flooding. 

Council made the announcement Tuesday to:

  • purchase out one residential neighbourhood in its entirety;
  • buy out high risk portions of other neighbourhoods;
  • build three new dikes, raise houses, armour kilometers of river bank, and assist residents with finding new places to live.

Council said these options came from an engineering report developed and reviewed over the past four months.

“Council made a tough decision looking to the future,” said Mayor Frank Konrad in the media release. “Residents needed us to look out for their best interest. We chose the safest options rather than the cheapest because we never want to repeat the flooding we had this year.”

The report, prepared by Dobson Engineering and reviewed by Mountain Station Consultants and additional engineers, explored all options to create permanent solutions to reduce risk to neighbourhoods.

"Residents were given the options and consulted through neighbourhood level meetings, a questionnaire for property owners and businesses, and open community meetings," the release said. "Council considered the community feedback and decided to implement the options that provided the lowest long-term risk."

The release said funding will now be secured through provincial and federal grants and partnerships.

"The buyout program, and detailed infrastructure designs will be developed over the next year. The overall project implementation is planned for the next four years."

During the spring, catastrophic floods in parts of southern interior of BC forced nearly 2,800 from their homes.

Grand Forks was severely hit with homes submerged in brown, murky water. Many residents had to be rescued by boat in the town as flood waters from the Granby River came over the banks.

Details and recovery project updates may be found at <bfre.ca>.