Abbotsford City Council is due to hear a range of options to better protect the city from future catastrophic flooding at its meeting on Monday.
The four options include varying degrees of upgrades, with potential costs ranging from $209 million to $2.8 billion.
The city says the mitigation plans were developed with the help of engineering firm Kerr Wood Leidal after November’s devastating floods that inundated the Sumas Prairie and caused at least $100 million in damage.
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The first option would leave flooding plans unchanged but would involve an upgrade of the Barrowtown Pumping Station, which operates year-round to drain water from the Sumas Prairie, a former lake bed. The city estimates that this work would cost $209 million.
option two includes the same Barrowtown upgrade plus the construction of a new pumping station on the Sumas River. The city estimates this work would cost $1.297 billion.
The third option includes the works in option one and two plus additional floodplain and storage areas. The city would upgrade existing levees and add new levees to protect the Huntingdon area and the area east of Saar Creek, but leave Sumas Prairie West as an unprotected floodplain. This option is valued at $2.497 billion.
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The fourth and most ambitious plan proposes to include the work of options one through three, along with the construction of three pumping stations at Sumas Prairie West and the addition of a narrow floodway through the construction of new levees on either side of the Sumas River and along the border. This option is valued at $2.797 billion.
“Due to increased weather events and impacts of climate change, more flooding events could occur if improvements are not made,” the city said in a media release.
“The City of Abbotsford must take immediate action to implement a solution in our community so that future weather events will not impact our community as severely.”
The city says it will be consulting with residents, businesses, First Nations and other governments about each of the four options and their implications.
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It said it has also been proactively reaching out to Sumas Prairie residents who may have concerns about the impact of the proposals on their properties.
The November floods forced more than 3,300 people to be evacuated from more than 1,100 properties in Abbotsford when Washington state’s Nooksack River burst its banks and water rushed north toward Abbotsford.
Flooding forced the closure of the Trans-Canada Highway and resulted in the deaths of thousands of livestock.
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https://globalnews.ca/news/8731076/abbotsford-flood-mitigation/ $200m to $2.8bn Abbotsford flood defense plans go to council next week – BC