M.D. says more equipment purchased to handle flooding

Image credit: Municipal District of Bonnyville. Coconut matting installed at Crane Lake.

The M.D. says they are trying to ensure that last year’s flooding issues don’t happen again this spring.

Reeve Greg Sawchuk said the M.D. budgeted for more equipment to handle flood-type events and have a flooding protocol.

“There was a lot of investigation work was done and some work was done to remediate those problems from happening again. But on top of that, the administration has met a couple of times and come up with basically a flooding protocol,” he said.

“Some extra equipment has been purchased. It’s already been pre-placed closer to some of the problem spots,” said Sawchuk.

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Snow piles have been removed from the hamlets and subdivisions and culverts have been dug out, said Matt Janz, interim director of Transportation and Utilities during the M.D. council meeting last Wednesday.

Offsite locations for pumps and other equipment have been set up so staff can respond to emergencies quickly.

“We’re preparing as best we can,” Janz said.

Inn the 2019 Interim Capital Budget, there was $800,000 set aside for drainage improvements on Moose Lake and Crane Lake.

The flooding around the Country Lane, Countryside in Cold Lake West and in Moose Lake last year are still a continuing concern.

“There are also a few range roads out there that have wetlands growing in size with our increasing precipitation that we’ve seen the last few years. Those are the problem areas really,” said Sawchuk.

“But if you see anything, it’s the same with roads, we use this 812-5000 number. When people call into that number, it automatically gets recorded. Now your concern is going to be active in some way or another. This is something we brought in just shy of a year ago now and it allows Council to know exactly where the concerns are, who looked after them, and what action took place. It allowed for good tracking and it holds us accountable,” he said.

The temperature is warming in the lakeland with daily highs nearing the teens, but the M.D. was hoping for a slower melt, said Sawchuk.

“I think we’re better prepared. We saw the problem areas. We have more equipment and staff are monitoring all the trouble spots on a daily basis.”