New floodplain data ready for Salmon and White rivers – Campbell River Mirror


What do Metallica’s Ride the Lightning, Judas Priest’s Faith Advocates, and the Salmon and White River Flood Risk Study have in common?

Well until this month they all came out in 1984.

While two of these are classics and should be enjoyed in their original form, the third has thankfully been updated and will be presented to the community at a meeting on June 22.

In 2019, the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) worked with the Village of Sayward to secure funding for an updated flood risk assessment. They also received additional funding to update and modernize the floodplain map and develop a model that will show how a flood will act in the Salmon and White River floodplain.

“Knowing where the floodplain is going and understanding the risk is crucial not only for emergency planning and evacuation and for knowing which roads are going to be cut under what types of conditions, which houses are going to be flooded. , but also for pre-planning as well, ”said Shaun Koopman, SRD’s protective services coordinator.

“What we know so far is that the floodplain boundaries have been dynamically altered, which is quite surprising.”

SRD’s consultant on the project, McElhanney, used modern lidar (light sensing and telemetry) data and conducted a bathymetric survey of the river in a kayak to get a picture of the reality on the ground. They combined this with projected sea level rise models to give a relatively complete picture of the floodplain projected to 2100.

“The next 80 years of climate change, for sea level rise, don’t seem to be that important, just because of the isostatic rebound of eastern Vancouver Island from the glaciation, or of how our landmass continues to increase with the pace of the sea, “Koopman said.” We will eventually run out of this luxury and sea level rise will catch up with us. “

Isostatic rebound refers to the rise of the earth after the weight of the ice caps has been removed.

While the village itself is not in the floodplain, the road in and out of Sayward is. Residents of Sayward are used to living with a flood risk, Koopman said, but the data is still needed for things like medical evacuation and risk planning.

“Being stuck for a long time because the road is completely in the floodplain is a big concern in Sayward,” Koopman said. “I can… tell you from experience that for rural and remote DTH communities, this is just part of their daily life.

“Some of the stories you hear from the elders are great,” he added. “When there is a flood, they turn on their walkie-talkie radios. A guy told us a story about when his neighbor ran out of flour to make cookies and he literally got into a canoe and rowed the flour to his neighbor. That’s just what they’re doing up there.

Koopman will present the new map and model to the community on June 22 via Zoom. The meeting will take place from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. A link to the meeting is available at SRD website.

Koopman has not confirmed if he will be playing 80s metal during the reunion.

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flood mitigationLocal NewsSaywardStrathcona Regional District

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