Pitt Meadows Receives Additional $1.5 Million for Dyke Upgrades

April 16, 2007


CITY OF PITT MEADOWS

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 2007-06

April 16, 2007

For further information, call

Mayor Don MacLean at 604-465-2416

dmaclean@pittmeadows.bc.ca

Jake Rudolph, Chief Administrative Officer at 604-465-2413

jrudolph@pittmeadows.bc.ca

PITT MEADOWS RECEIVES ADDITIONAL $1.5 Million FOR DYKE UPGRADES

PITT MEADOWS, BC: Like many municipalities along the Fraser, Pitt Meadows is focusing on its level of preparedness for spring flooding. Since receiving $617,000 dollars two weeks ago crews have been hard surfacing dykes between the South and North Alouette Rivers. Today the Provincial Government has announced an additional $1.5 million grant so work can begin topping dykes along the Pitt River from the Alouette River north and funding to raise Fraser Way from Harris Road 500 metres east.

The City continues to monitor current forecasts and stream flows that indicate the Fraser River elevations will increase from mid May until possibly July. While dyking work continues, we focus on review of all of our response plans, developing flooding preparedness information for residents and businesses, and preparing response schedules including possible evacuation plans.

In addition to a stepped up program of dyke inspections, the City is liaising with other governments, utilities and outside agencies to ensure that work is underway to protect critical infrastructure and that contingency plans are in place.

“The message is clear, individuals must begin to do more than think about being prepared, they need to act. There are always inherent risks associated with living on a flood plain. This year, given snowpack levels concerns appear to be higher than before”, commented Jake Rudolph, Chief Administrative Officer. The Provincial Emergency Program is still predicting a low probability of dyke overtopping but stresses that all is contingent on snowmelt and weather. The dykes were upgraded in the late 1970's and 80's but have never been tested by a sustained high volume flow.” added Rudolph. “Predicting flooding is a lot like predicting the weather – we just need to be prepared for any scenario.” Mayor Don MacLean noted “this is a strong announcement by the Province that this is a community, regional and provincial issue. I am confident that we are all focusing on what we can do now to ensure the safety of residents and businesses in the future. We are very appreciative of $2.1 million dollars and will put it to use immediately. ”