The District of Kent is slated to receive $4.17 million for the upgrade and expansion of the Hammersley Pump Station. The grant is part of the province’s over $80 million investment in emergency preparedness and public safety, which was announced by Chilliwack-Hope MLA Laurie Throness on Mar. 15. on behalf of Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness.
“The business case for the pump station was made by the District in September 2013, and I wrote to the Minister in support of it in February 2014, so this has been a long time in coming. I am so pleased it finally came to fruition,” said Throness. “Our government recognizes the value of investing in emergency preparedness, both as a means of creating stronger communities as well as helping build the foundation for continued economic growth.”
The Hammersley pump station is located approximately 6 km west of Agassiz and conveys run-off from the Mountain Slough watershed. This project will expand and upgrade the current pump system to better protect local agricultural lands and nearby Federal Correctional Centre infrastructure.
“We’re very pleased to receive the upgrading to the pump,” said Mayor John Van Laerhoven. Currently the volume the water moves at is 2.2 cubic metres per second, with the upgrades it will move at 7.2 cubic metres per second so that’s significantly more.”
The upgrades will help keep water levels lower in the event of flooding and help with drainage issues, though it will not eradicate them as the district continues to move forward with its initiatives in flood prevention.
“These investments in community emergency preparedness will help us better withstand floods, fires, or earthquakes that could impact our province. Emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility that begins in every home, in every business, and across all levels of government. This funding is another of many provincial investments and initiatives to help keep British Columbians safe,” said Yamamoto
To better understand and mitigate flooding hazards along the Fraser River and southern coast, the province also invested $2.13 million in three Fraser Basin Council (FBC) projects:
• $1 million will support the FBC in conducting an inventory and engineering assessment of all orphan or unmanaged dikes in British Columbia. This assessment will evaluate the structural conditions of the dikes and determine the cost to upgrade the dikes to provincial standard and to acquire at-risk properties. The goal of this project is to assess the risks to local communities and to help facilitate the transfer of diking authority to local governments.
• $800,000 will go toward a seismic assessment of existing Lower Mainland dikes to withstand seismic events, which will provide vital information about risks and vulnerabilities in those communities. This funding will allow for the field testing of almost 50 structures. This information will provide vital information toward developing seismic design guidelines for diking infrastructure.
• $330,000 will support the cross-sectional sonar survey of the Fraser River bottom to assist the FBC in its proposed development of flood-hazard analysis tools and modelling of the floodplain. This data will also assist in upgrades to the current river model used for freshet forecasting, to provide more accurate information to the public and stakeholders.