Dry Creek holds up during rainstorm

The rainstorm over the Dec. 5-6 weekend wasn't enough to make the newly enhanced channel breach its banks.

The newly enhanced Dry Creek channel ensured that water levels didn't rise much even at high tide the morning after the weekend storms.

Despite 100 millimetres of rain within a 12-hour period, city engineer Guy Cicon is pleased with how Dry Creek held up during the weekend’s rainstorm.

“The Dry Creek channel performed as expected with some erosion,” Cicon said on Monday morning.

“In a 12-hour period we received 100 mm of rain and we had a peak intensity of 5 mm per hour.”

The city budgeted $2.5 million for the Dry Creek flood mitigation project in 2015. Of that, $1.8 million came from the Building Canada Fund and the remainder came from the city. Bowerman Excavating completed the work just weeks ago.

Katya Sepian

The water levels in the Dry Creek culvert under Third Avenue at high tide on Dec. 5.

The work consisted of channel improvements throughout the length of Dry Creek that widened the channel to 12 metres, effectively doubling its capacity.

A culvert was also installed under Third Avenue in order to widen the flow and stop obstruction from causing possible flooding.

Cicon said that had the flood mitigation work not been done, the flooding seen on Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue could have been much worse.

“I expect had we not done the channel improvements on Dry Creek the intensity of this storm could have seen Dry Creek breach its banks.”

A short section of the east lane of Third Avenue near Bute Street and Burde Street was closed on the night of Dec. 4, city utilities superintendent Brian Mousley said,

Flooding improved rather than worsened as the evening progressed, he added.

Cicon said that the flood near Bute Street and Burde Street wasn’t caused by Dry Creek.

“The flooding that we received on Third and Fourth avenue is independent of the work that we did on Dry Creek,” he said, adding that the city is looking into both short- and long-term options to improve drainage in the area.

(See more about the city’s plans in Thursday’s News).

Unlike Dry Creek, other waterways in the Alberni Valley didn’t fare so well.

Tseshaht First Nation elected Chief Councillor Hugh Braker declared a state of emergency due to rising Somass River levels at noon on Dec. 6 that is set to last until Dec. 11.T seshaht and volunteers were sandbagging at their administration building throughout the weekend in hopes of preventing the damage that last December’s floods caused to residences.

Sandbagging has currently been put on hold due to the flood advisory for the Somass River being lifted.



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