More than $1M spent on Lumby flood control

Click to play video: 'Lumby flood control funding drying up'
Lumby flood control funding drying up
Lumby flood control funding drying up – May 18, 2017

UPDATE:  The Village of Lumby local state of emergency has been extended to May 27.  The Emergency Social Services (ESS) referral program offered by the Province to evacuated residents will also continue until this date.

Some Lumby residents were still on evacuation order Thursday but it seemed the major flood threat had passed, at least for the time being.

With water levels dropping, the provincial funding for emergency flood protection is also drying up. That means work on major flood control efforts is coming to a halt.

Lumby looks a lot different than it did in early May when fears of flooding triggered a local state of emergency.

“Crews have brought in rip rap and fill, and banks have been shored up with fabrics and other solutions to make sure that things don’t erode or the creek doesn’t burst the banks,” Mayor Kevin Acton said.

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Acton estimates the province has spent over $1 million on flood control work since the state of emergency started.

However, Acton said the money is no longer flowing because the province says the village is no longer in imminent danger.

“[The] province has been incredibly generous. Their response to the flooding emergency was incredibly fast and well done. I have no complaints whatsoever. I understand why the funding is being stopped here,” Acton said.

Emergency Management B.C. said Lumby was looking for funding to build long-term flood infrastructure, which didn’t meet its funding criteria.

The result is that the flood control work is stopping on Thursday, at least temporarily, even though not everything that was started has been finished.

Not everyone agrees that is a good idea.

“I find it ridiculous because really the flood hasn’t even started, there is still a snow pack up top, and also they’ve built these berms…and they are just going to up and leave them in a big mess. I just don’t get it personally,” said Susie Heal Catt, who lives just outside Lumby.

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Acton agrees that many residents likely feel the work is not done.

“But the truth is the money that [Emergency Management B.C.] puts in place [is] to save lives and infrastructure and right now in the community, at this moment, there are not lives and infrastructure at threat,” Acton said.

The village says a significant portion of the snowpack has already melted.

“We are still expecting our June runoff high waters, but unless that comes with rain, we are not expecting huge floods,” Acton said.

Now Lumby officials will seek out other funding for the cleanup. If they get it, work could resume as early as next week.

The village is hoping the work already done, which was designed to be removable, can be left in place until the municipality completes a flood prevention plan.


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