Of dikes and riverbanks in Kamloops

Said city utility services manager Greg Wightman: “What a lot of residents get confused about is there’s a lot of areas that’s just riverbank. Riverbank, we don’t do anything with because it’s not providing any flood protection.”

City of Kamloops utility services manager Greg Wightman said there is much confusion about the difference between a dike and riverbank. 

“The dikes around town are classified dikes, they’re classified under the provincial dikes act. The dikes are maintained every year in accordance with the provincial act and provincial regulation.

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“We inspect those yearly. We have vegetation management plans for them. They’re all engineered structures. Right now, at this current state of water level, we have daily inspections on those dikes.

“What a lot of residents get confused about is there’s a lot of areas that’s just riverbank. Riverbank, we don’t do anything with because it’s not providing any flood protection.”

RELATED: City says Westsyde dike in good condition

Wightman said old vehicles buried by the river are part of the riverbank, not the dike.

“Absolutely not. We’d be speculating about why they’re there, but they are not part of the protection, they’re not part of the dike. It’s out of our jurisdiction, as is the clean-up of all that. There’s a whole bunch of reasons why they could have ended up there, but it’s not due to flood protection.”

Asked about a statement received by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Wightman said: “It may have been in there for riverbank erosion protection. Nothing to do with dike. Again, the difference is riverbank erosion doesn’t impact flooding. Dike is an engineered structure put in place to prevent flooding. I can guarantee you a car would not ever be approved.

“The difference between what we saw in 1972 was we had a dike that failed,” Wightman said.

“The dike inspections, the Dike Maintenance Act, our requirements as a diking authority have enhanced an awful lot since those days.

“As I said, right now, we’re doing daily dike inspections. We’re closely monitoring dikes to make sure we don’t have a failure like we did in 1972.”

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