Pemberton dykes better endowed 

Village and outlying areas protected in case of 200-year flood

The Pemberton Valley Dyking District has hit its goal of Q200 flood level protection. This means that the property within the dyke loop that begins at Miller Creek and extends to Pemberton Creek is protected from the largest type of flood that can be expected within a 200-year period.

The flood of 2003 was considered a Q200 level flood, however, the loop managed to just stay intact.

"The theory is that because the Miller breached and the Ryan failed it took the pressure off the loop," said Jordan Sturdy, chair of the Pemberton Valley Dyking District.

The PVDD has made every effort to ensure the community is not that close at risk again.

"What we did was peel the top of the dyke, place it on either side and took new material and compacted it along the top and sidewalls. It was over 90 lb. per sq. inch, then we reseeded it," explained Sturdy.

A green covering, that the resulting sod will provide, will better absorb and disperse storm water.

The last phase of the plan that will help to keep the Village of Pemberton and the Pemberton Fringe drier, was completed earlier this month at a cost of approximately $400,000. More than 1,000 truckloads of engineered material were spread along a 2.3 km section of dyke at a depth of between 10 cm and 90 cm.

This project was part of an ongoing program of maintenance and upgrades of the one of the largest dyking districts in B.C.

The province reimburses communities up to 75 per cent of associated costs for making these types of improvements. However, the funds available to offset costs require that a right-of-way be secured from the property owners whose land borders the improved dyke.

"A significant number of property owners on the Lillooet River were unwilling to sign a right-of-way agreement," said Sturdy. "They think ‘right of way’ and they think the whole world will be tromping down the dyke, which is not the case."

Sturdy said that taxpayers are going to be penalized for the portion of funds the PVDD is not able to access through the provincial government.

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