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RDKB receives $150K for Boundary flood, geohazard risk assessment

A $150,000 grant from the provincial Community Emergency Preparedness Fund will allow the RDKB to develop a Boundary region flood and geohazard risk assessment. This project will provide high-level information to serve as the basis for more detailed floodplain and mitigation plans. — Submitted photo

The Province of BC has approved the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary to receive just under $150,000 to complete a Boundary region flood and geohazard risk assessment.

The project will cost $163,000 in total with $13,000 funded in kind by the RDKB.

The RDKB is one of 24 local governments and First Nations communities in BC that will receive $3.46 million through the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF).

“I want to thank the Province of BC for funding this critical project,” said Diane Langman, Chair, RDKB Board of Directors

“This project funding will provide us with the means to create a factual base for RDKB policy and bylaws, land-use and river corridor planning, and ultimately, more sustainable communities.”

 This past spring, the RDKB contracted with engineering firm Ebbwater Consulting Inc. to support the CEPF grant application, and to complete a flood and geohazard risk assessment for RDKB Electoral Areas: C/Christina Lake, D/Rural Grand Forks and E/West Boundary once funding was in place.

“This is great news for the Boundary,” said Roly Russell, Director, Electoral Area D/Rural Grand Forks.

“We know that flood risk is significant, and this grant will help us set off down the path to prioritize how we best dedicate our personal and local government energy to reduce those risks.

Russell said this will leave the region with a sense of where actual flood risk is highest, not simply a revised elevation profile of the riparian areas, which is a critical piece of information for us to have so we can all make informed decisions about our future.

 The project will produce a stand-alone flood and geohazard risk assessment to support future projects, which will include the development of regional floodplain maps and mitigation plans. It will incorporate information about affected communities, the economy, infrastructure, land-use, climate change, environment and culture and engage with stakeholders to gather information from local sectors, groups and neighbourhoods impacted by the annual freshet.

The RDKB will present all findings, maps and reports to the community in the final phase of the project.

“It’s impossible to make good decisions without all the facts, and so this project is really welcome and I’m grateful the Province is funding it,” said Grace McGregor, Director, Electoral Area C/Christina Lake.

“I am certain Christina Lake residents are very interested in understanding the risks and hazards across our region so we all have our eyes wide open to what we need to do here at the Lake to reduce impacts from flooding.”

 This funding is part of the nearly $69.5 million Community Emergency Preparedness Fund, designed to help communities prepare for, and respond to, disasters.