UPDATED Nov 20 – Added PDF of handout to end of article
As a result of the flood of 2018 a new set of floodplain maps needed to be created (the previous ones had been made in the early 90s). This is important for various reasons: Safety, Zoning Bylaws, City and Land Use Planning to name a few.
Previous mapping efforts employed the capabilities of the field at that time – and the results reflected that. New technologies such as LIDAR have improved the field significantly since then enabling a more precise data set. Coupled with advances in computer systems this has made the results of simulation modeling of water flow, and where it goes, much better.
Urban Systems has been a major participant in this process and on Monday Nov 18 two of their team, Senior Planner Joel Short and Professional Engineer Cameron Gatey, came out to present the results and discuss the ramifications to the town and its land-use-related laws.
In addition Recovery Manager Graham Watt, Mayor Taylor, some council members and city staff were present to help explain and answer questions.
About 50 people attended the event in the GFSS auditorium.
Preparedness Week saw things happening in Grand Forks from April 11 to 13th
Beginning on April 11 with a presentation on Your Finances After The Flood from Grand Forks Credit Union and Community Futures hosted by Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy at Selkirk College.
On April 12 and 13th 2 blocks of Market Ave. in Grand Forks were closed to traffic so a number of demonstrations and information booths could be set up for preparedness week
One of the things they wanted to point out to people was how to properly do sand bagging. Flooding in your home or store is bad enough but imagine the frustration after a lot of hard work placing sandbags only to have that water infiltrate past them. There are ways to make that less likely to happen and make the barriers better. Paul Edmonds from Red Dragon Consulting takes us through it.
Remember what it was like trying to stay abreast of the changing threats over the last few years? Do you listen to the radio? Which website has the most up-to-date information? Are there public postings for those who aren’t on the web? Where? How do you know? Well the Regional District has take a step forward in keeping you informed about threats as they happen. They’ve brought out an App (Voyent Alert) for phones and tablets that will get Push notifications about threats as they unfold. Push means you don’t have to make the App visit the website – it gets a notification all by itself. So if there’s a wildfire coming to where you are right now. or a flood, the App will let you know. It runs on both Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android systems. Listen to RDKB’s Interim Emergency Program Manager Mark Stephens explain more.
What if you’ve gone out into the wilderness hiking, biking, snowmobiling, or hunting and something happens and you need help. What are you going to do? Did you bring a GPS? Good – You know where you are. But how do you get that information to Help? Do you have a Satellite phone? No? How about a Two-Way radio? One that works in the mountains . . . Or as you lie there with your broken leg / burst appendix / cuts and scrapes will you be wondering how long your body will be there before its found? It doesn’t have to be that way or have that bad an outlook if you have an In-Reach device . . . with one of those rescuers can know exactly where you are and you can let them know what is wrong so they bring the right supplies to help you. Listen to Scott Lamont from Grand Forks Search and Rescue explain.
Politicians from various levels of government (not the feds) were present. Local city councillors were serving up pancake breakfast with the Elks on Saturday. Other were there to talk about what has happened, is happening and will take place in the future. Mayor Taylor, RDKB Chair Roly Russell and Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness Jennifer Rice spoke.
On June 15, 2018 a Joint Press Release was issued by the presidents of the local Liberal and NDP constituency associations.
We the undersigned, as the Presidents representing our respective party’s Constituency Association for Boundary Similkameen (BC NDP and BC Liberal) wish to present the following statement to our community.
We met today to discuss the response to the disastrous flood that has devastated our community and with a focus on the discussion taking place in its aftermath.
We both wish to express in the strongest possible terms to our parties’ supporters and all citizens in this region to engage in discussion in a compassionate and balanced manner. We understand that emotions are justifiably running high and that this can lead to conflict as people desperately seek the answers and assistance that they require.
We both agree that in particular, those who were not directly impacted by the flood have a duty to maintain a calm and supportive tone and to seek and share accurate information instead of speculation and rumours.
We believe strongly that people experiencing the most dire need will be best served and comforted by this approach to discussion. Both of us are working tirelessly with our respective parties, within our respective volunteer positions, and with our friends and neighbours in the community.
We are committed to making use of our positions to advocate relentlessly on behalf of meeting the extraordinary need our community is currently experiencing.
We both believe that this community can and will come together in the weeks and months ahead, just as we did during the worst of the active flood. We have no doubt that Grand Forks will bounce back stronger than ever.
Respectfully Everett Baker President, BC Liberal Boundary Similkameen Riding Association Ian Mitchell President, Boundary Similkameen BC NDP Constituency Association