RMWB Working on Accelerated, Complete Flood Mitigation Plan

The RMWB is working on an accelerated flood mitigation plan to better protect the Lower Townsite, Waterways, and Draper.

Wood Buffalo council met on Wednesday where they approved Mayor Don Scott’s motion to have administration present a workable plan within the next 30 days.

Scott says the community has experienced flood after flood and they need to end the streak.

“Our residents and our businesses need certainty and I don’t believe they can go through this again – 15 major floods in 145 years, that is a sign.”

So far, the municipality has spent around $150 million on flood mitigation. They’ve received around $16 million from the province, however, this doesn’t come anywhere near the funds needed for a proper plan.

“We have been advocating for a $78 million contribution from either or both the federal and provincial governments,” added Matthew Hough, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer.

If this happens, the RMWB would be looking at $85 million needed for additional work.

A fix-all flood mitigation plan has been talked about for decades.

Multiple councillors noted talk always amps up soon after a flood but dies down just as fast.

“This is still fresh in everyone’s mind, so this is good timing for us to do this and to ensure we come up with a plan that can be prioritized,” said Councillor Mike Allen.

The RMWB believes they should be able to present a full plan within the 30 day timeline and have work already underway finished in a couple of years. If extra time is needed, they will bring that forward to council’s attention.

Meanwhile, also part of Scott’s motion is to have administration look into possible solutions to ensure a similar boil water advisory doesn’t happen.

During the flood, water from the Athabasca River started flowing the wrong way in an overflow pipe at the Water Treatment Plant. This has forced the municipality to disinfect the plant and the 375 km potable water distribution system.

The municipality has released a possible timeline on when neighbourhoods can expect the advisory to be lifted.

More from 100.5 Cruz FM