September 14, 2018 2:13 pm

Environmental work on Mission Creek also preventing floods

Sometimes things have to be torn apart before they're put back together. That's what's happening to a stretch of the Mission Creek Greenway in Kelowna.

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It’s being called a success: Restoration work on Mission Creek that also protects against flooding.

This week, Mission Creek Restoration Initiative said work projects done in 2016 and 2017 have safeguarded properties from spring flooding. And not just regular spring flooding, but massive, rarely seen types of floods.

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“The new dike on the east side of the creek, along with the expanded floodplain, were designed and built in 2016 to protect surrounding areas from a 1-in-200-year flood,” said Mission Creek Restoration Initiative (MCRI) project engineer Don Dobson.

“In 2017, we had a 1-in-100-year flood, after which some parts of the project were refined to improve performance the following year.”

READ MORE: Kelowna Mission Creek Dike Work

“This year, we had a 1-in-200-year flood, and again the project performed as designed. Some sand and gravel deposits were left in the wake of the flooding, but those are easy to remove now that the creek is at low levels.”

Heavy equipment is scheduled to remove sediment, September 17th to the 21st. The Mission Creek Greenway dike on the south side of the creek between Casorso Road and Gordon Drive will remain open while this work is undertaken. Motorists are urged to respect signage to ensure the safety of workers and the public.

MCRI says with phase one between Casorso and Gordon now complete, the focus is now on year-to-year ‘adaptive management.

“The plan is to adaptively manage the site to ensure lasting health and productivity of the creek as it changes over time,” said MCRI project coordinator Steve Matthews. “And for that, we need to be patient.”

“Over the years I’ve learned not to force change in natural systems,” said Dobson. “Patience is paramount when you’re committed to letting Mother Nature lead the way. Simply put, we have to work with the creek, one freshet at a time.”

To learn more about this and other creek restoration work, visit missioncreek.ca.

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