By: Luke Jones, Published on April 19, 2016 10:17 PM, Last Update on April 20, 2016 03:20 AM
The British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced $4 million in funding to go towards maintenance of flood mitigation on the Abbotsford shoreline. The governmental body says the project is necessary and if left unrepaired the dike protecting Matsqui Prairie from flooding could be undermined.
The dike is important for protecting regional infrastructure from coastal flooding and its repair is part of the provinces wider plans to maintain local flood mitigation. The government has already begun repairing eroded flood protection infrastructure last year, and the Ministry of Transport said in a release on Monday that the $4 million funding is part of the 2016 B.C. budget.
According to the release, seven erosion arcs have formed on Fraser River’s south bank, situated between Matsqui Prairie and Sumas Mountain. The erosion has taken place since 1997 after the infrastructure was placed in 1971 and 1983.
The ministry says that this section of the south bank is known to be susceptible to erosion and that the $4 million will go towards stabilization projects. The work will protect about 5,000 hectares of agricultural land, and will also include Clayburn and Matsqui Village, Matsqui First Nations and major regional infrastructure like Highway 11, railways, the National Defence communications centre, BC Hydro towers, gas mains, and water and community wastewater facilities.
Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness Naomi Yamamoto said the B.C. government is working and spending money to maintain the provinces flood mitigation infrastructure:
“Emergencies and natural disasters, such as wildfires, floods and earthquakes are inevitable in British Columbia. It is our priority to ensure our province is the most prepared in the country and part of that preparedness is developing ways to mitigate risks to the safety of British Columbians before a disaster can strike.”
In total the province will provide over $49 million towards flood mitigation projects and since 2008 British Columbia has spent more than $145 million through local and national funding on 156 flood mitigation projects.
Insurance companies in Canada do not provide coastal flood coverage, so governmental infrastructures it hugely important to protect homeowners against flooding. Maintaining flood mitigation controls also protects provincial land and potentially saves billions of dollars in repair costs during high flood situations.