The province has handed out $52 million for structural flood mitigation projects over the past two years, and the latest portion was awarded to 18 communities this week.
“The intent is to support eligible applicants to prevent, eliminate or reduce hazards through structural flood mitigation projects,” a provincial press release announcing the awards explains.
Recipients of the grants, made through the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund, include dike upgrades in Richmond, Fernie, Lumby and the Lil’wat Nation. Projects addressing erosion have been approved on the Cowichan River and in the Metlakatla region. General flood protection projects are slated for Kelowna, Richmond and Telkwa.
The $69.5 million program, announced in September 2017 and administered by the Union of BC Municipalities, will channel funding through seven streams:
flood risk assessment, flood mapping and flood mitigation planning;
emergency support services;
emergency operations centres and training;
structural flood mitigation;
volunteer and composite fire departments equipment and training;
Indigenous cultural safety and cultural humility training.
The next two intakes of the program occur this spring and will address emergency operations centres and training (deadline: March 13) and evacuation route planning (deadline: April 17).