Flood-prevention equipment removed as waters recede

The city is removing flood-protection equipment installed earlier this year to protect critical infrastructure in anticipation of potentially historic flooding.

On Monday, city staff were at Riverside Park taking down Hesco baskets, as part of tear down.

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It has already removed the military-grade barriers, which hold back water, from McArthur Island.

City of Kamloops utility maintenance supervisor Joe Luison said while water reached the barriers during freshet, they did not play much of a role.

In fact, predictions for potentially historic flooding in the River City this year did not come to fruition.

“Mother Nature always has the upper hand,” Luison told KTW.

Initial forecasts had predicted potentially historic level flooding in the area due to above normal snowpack levels.

The city was particularly concerned, given limitations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite above normal snowpack levels, however, cooler temperatures in the spring led to a slower thaw. Rain did become a factor later in the season, Luison said, but the situation benefitted from the snow having already melted.

Asked if people can breathe easy now, he said people should continue to be diligent, as the river has not fully receded.

“Any activities that they’re doing at the river’s edge, if their property is there, you still need to keep a watchful eye on it,” he said.

“At this point, we don’t see it overtopping freshet levels.”

Luison said the city is confident river levels will not rise again to a point that would affect park infrastructure.

In addition to removing the barriers, sand used to fill sand bags and protect properties has been removed from fire halls and the city is also in the process of removing flood-protection bags that cover catch basins on city streets.

Municipal boat launches are open for use, but the city continues to ask boaters to be mindful of debris. Swimmers should also be careful.

“Always have care and attention when you’re on the waterways,” Luison said.

What to do with those sandbags?

Residents who received sandbags from the city during freshet can take sand and sandbags to Mission Flats or the Barnhartvale landfills free of charge. Sand needs to be separated from the bags.

© Kamloops This Week



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