Residents and landowners in the Carey Point area of Chilliwack whose properties were flooded in this year's freshet will take little comfort in a consultant's report city council was scheduled to hear Tuesday afternoon.
This year's one-in-20-year freshet peak on the Fraser River once again flooded the Carey Point area in June after a last-minute berm collapsed.
Another berm that was constructed in 1997 to protect the area collapsed during the 2011 freshet.
In a last-minute bid to protect the properties this year, Chilliwack MLA John Les came up with $25,000 from the provincial government, which was matched by the city. Property owners pitched in approximately $70,000 of their
own money and built the berm themselves.
The structure ran on both sides of Orchard Slough where the city had previously built a $110,000 check dam.
Despite the work, the berm was breached, flooding farm land and three homes.
As part of the city's $25,000 for the berm, a commitment was also made to review the erosion risks and trends.
Kerr Wood Leidal Associates (KWL) completed the review of the erosion risk at Carey Point and an engineer was to summarize the report for city council Tuesday.
The KWL review found that a scour hole said in the NHC report to be in front of the bank at Carey Point has-as local residents have said for months-in fact moved downstream. That is, however, the only place where the local folk wisdom and the official analysis are in agreement.
While residents of the area say protecting Carey Point is important to protect the East Dike, the engineers disagree.
"The upstream end of Carey Point is expected to remain relatively stable in the short term," a staff report in the agenda package for Tuesday's meeting said.
"KWL agreed with NHC's assessment that erosion mitigation measures are not required to protect the East Dyke.
"KWL is also in agreement with the NHC conclusions regarding the viability of bank protection under the current river configuration. Bank protection placed now may not withstand future erosion."
Back in March, Ballam Road resident John Janzen said: "Somebody's got their head in a mole hill if they think that dike isn't in peril."
The consultant said that the dike's distance from the Fraser River means there should be no short-term problems.
"A very large change in upstream river alignment, to a degree not considered likely, would be required in order to threaten the dyke along Carey Point. Even in the unlikely event of such a significant change, the erosion process would take several decades to reach the dyke."
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