It remains to be seen if last month’s flooding across southern B.C. will delay vital flood works set for completion this spring, city council heard Monday, Dec. 13. Meanwhile, designated homes in North Ruckle started to come down Monday, Dec. 20.
Appearing before Grand Forks’ committee of the whole, Ben Stevens, Project Manager of the city’s Flood Mitigation Program (FMP), said some homes along the proposed dike alignment in North Ruckle will start coming down before Christmas. The city hopes to hire construction managers for the four outstanding flood work projects under the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF) Charter.
“Until we have those construction managers hired, which is happening as we speak, it would be premature for us to speculate about how much things have shifted. We expect there will probably be some delays in some things, but we’re not sure,” Stevens told the committee.
The city is up against tight timelines to get the DMAF projects done before the Kettle River hits peak stream-flow in May, but Chief Administrative Officer Duncan Redfearn advised the committee that it would be costly to hire construction managers before the necessary construction permits are in place. Fifteen of these permits are still before regulators at the provincial and federal governments, Redfearn said.
Stevens explained that utility services had been removed or were in the removal process at North Ruckle homes along the proposed dike alignment. The city plans to hire a contractor to serve as a full-time “house moving and salvage” co-ordinator who will oversee related operations in North Ruckle, Stevens added.
The city is meanwhile in talks with the manufacturer Rockwool about plans to tie the North Ruckle dike into a raised section of the plant, shortening the length of the overall dike. This would yield “considerable cost-savings to the city,” Redfearn said.
Next, the city is hoping to receive in February parts of a removable floodwall that will span the gap in the dike at Second Street, near the Kettle River. The remaining parts are slated to arrive in April.
Construction timelines and budgets will be finalized once construction managers are hired, he told the committee.
FMP staff are developing contingency plans with the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary in case the DMAF projects aren’t built by the spring, according to Stevens.