Aqua Dams to Remain in Place until Next Week
March 11, 2016
BC Hydro has advised the City of Courtenay that concerns over potential flooding have eased after a heavy storm this week. There are no further major storms in the forecast, and high tides are decreasing over the next few days. Out of an abundance of caution, the Aqua Dam temporary flood barricades along sections of the Old Island Highway and Comox Road will remain in place until next week.
“We had a close call, and we’re very grateful we managed to avoid a flood,” said Courtenay Mayor Larry Jangula. “I’m also pleased that we’ve been able to take a proactive approach to flood prevention with the Aqua Dam, along with a new flood control plan.
“Previously in this type of situation, we were at the mercy of Mother Nature,” continued Jangula. ”If a flood occurred, the City and property owners in the Puntledge Business District were then left to deal with post-flood cleanup and then try to claim damages through the provincial Disaster Financial Assistance Program. Now in the event of a flood alert, with the Aqua Dam we have a serious tool in our arsenal to actually prevent damages in the first place.”
Mayor Jangula expressed his gratitude to Council for approving the Aqua Dam, to City staff for their work on the new flood control plan, and to BC Hydro for their flood control efforts. Mayor Jangula also highlighted the efforts of Public Works crews. Once BC Hydro advised the City of the potential flood risk, crews were able to set up the two sections of the Aqua Dam on Wednesday in only six and a half hours.
The City of Courtenay and BC Hydro worked closely and were in regular communication throughout the week. BC Hydro has been spilling high volumes of water since March 1, and kept back as much water as possible during the high tide on Thursday to reduce the risk of flooding.
The date for the Aqua Dam removal next week has not yet been set. There will be road and lane closures during the Aqua Dam removal. The City of Courtenay will provide an update once the removal date has been set.