Town of Golden receives funding to update flood mapping

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The Town of Golden has received $270,000 in federal and provincial funding under the National Disaster Mitigation Program to update flood mapping for the community.

The project will provide updated flood mapping for the Town of Golden for three watercourses that flow through or border the town. This includes the Kicking Horse River, Columbia River, and Hospital Creek. This work will increase flood awareness and available information, update the accuracy of flood mapping and risks in the area, provide a basis for flood mitigation priorities, and inform the Town in updating the floodplain bylaw. The project will also include LiDAR (topography mapping) and aerial photography that covers the entire Town of Golden.

“Flood mapping is a vital component for appropriate land use planning in floodplain areas,” explained Phil Armstrong, planner and manager of development services with the Town of Golden. “Having updated flood maps for Golden will help us better plan for our community and help residents and local businesses understand their flood risk and be better prepared for the future. The maps will also provide important base data to developers which helps facilitate development.”

Currently, Golden’s flood mapping is from 1979, making it 40 years out-of-date and ranking it among the oldest in the province. Since 1979, many physical changes have happened in Golden, including additional narrowing and diking of the Kicking Horse River as well as the relocation of the Columbia Canadian Pacific Rail railway from being located through town (parallel to Highway 95) to along the banks of the Columbia River. The 40-year-old flood maps also do not consider the protection of Golden from the dikes or dike breach scenarios.

“The new flood plain maps will be created using detailed terrain information, up-to-date mapping techniques, include dike breach modelling and climate change considerations,” said Armstrong. “This will give us a better, more fulsome, picture of the floodplain in Golden which is crucial to the foundation of sustainable developments in these areas.”

The total cost of the project is $273,600 with $135,000 from the federal government, $135,000 from the provincial government, and contributions from the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, the Town of Golden, and BC Hydro.

The project is set to be completed in April 2020 and will include a public information component at that time.

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