COURTENAY, B.C. – Courtenay is getting provincial cash to help the city deal with future flood events.

The city will receive $150,000 to undertake Phase 2 of its dike replacement and flood protection strategy.

Courtenay-Comox MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard welcomed the funding, that will help Courtenay prepare for and respond to floods.

“The 2010 and 2014 floods caused a lot of hardship for people in Courtenay, and highlighted the need for better flood prevention and mitigation,” Leonard said. “This funding will help us reduce flood risks and keep our community safe.”

The city is one of 22 local and regional governments that are sharing more than $3 million in funding from the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF).

In Courtenay, this funding will go towards a long-term mitigation strategy improving flood protection and evaluating existing dike structures along the major river systems within Courtenay’s jurisdiction.

The project will also include updated flood mapping.

The last major Integrated Flood Management Study was completed in 2013. The new grant funding will help the City of Courtenay build on information and technical analysis from this previous work.

Flooding in the City of Courtenay from 2015 is shown in a Vista file photo.

According to a city release, the funding will complement existing work underway in Courtenay strengthening resilience to climate change, including a Municipal Natural Asset Initiative pilot project, a project through the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) addressing climate change and extreme weather, and the Integrated Rainwater Management Plan that will guide how the community manages rainwater into the future.

The Engineering Strategy team, within the City’s Engineering Services Department, will be leading this work.

The CEPF is a suite of programs designed to enhance the resiliency of local governments and their residents.

The province provides the funding, which is administered by UBCM and divided into five streams:
– flood risk assessment, flood mapping and flood mitigation planning;
– emergency support services;
– emergency operations centres and training;
– structural flood mitigation; and
– evacuation routes.

Leonard said that since the September 2017 Budget Update, communities throughout B.C. have received more than $20 million through the CEPF, and that “the New Democrat government is committed to ensuring communities across B.C. have the tools they need to respond to disasters when and where they happen.”