Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for November 17th, 2006

City must brace for flood: Report

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Welcome to the Richmond News – News

Richmond’s dyke system might not hold back the sea and the Fraser River during a major storm surge, says a new report by the Fraser Basin Council.

The report predicts widespread dyke failure from Chilliwack to Surrey, as a result of spring flooding.

It also predicts dykes in Richmond and Delta could be topped during a winter storm surge.

So we don’t even have to wait for the sea level to rise (as it will, due to global warming) . The City is somewhat smug “we’re well ahead of it” but the point is

Richmond’s dykes may be a full foot lower than they need to be, during a one-in 200-year storm surge.

The huge amount of rain we’ve been getting lately, together with gale force winds, and high tides have already seen the water close to the top of the dyke at the end of Gilbert Road. Unlike last year, we have not had to go to the City’s works yard for our free sandbags as the water lapped at our door sills. Then we had high tides (meaning the pumps had nowhere to put the water) and so much rain the drains were full. My back garden became a pond.

I really doubt that we will see much dyke raising in time to meet the threat. Why? Well we are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars and involvement by multiple levels of government. Not a recipe for fast – or even any – action.

Written by Stephen Rees

November 17, 2006 at 7:24 pm