B.C. windstorm: Delta assessing damage and climate change concerns

Last night's storm saw some of Delta's dikes perform well, but others weren't up to the challenge of holding back surging water. With climate change expected to bring larger and more powerful storms with greater frequency, is low-lying Delta ready?

Climate change expected to bring stronger storms and Delta wants to be ready

Beach Grove Road in Delta is along Boundary Bay and has been a source of flooding concern as recently as last month. (Jesse Johnston/CBC)

Last night's intense storm has the City of Delta closely assessing the damage.

That's because areas like Boundary Bay are near the water, vulnerable to high tides and could see greater impacts of windstorms in the future due to climate change.

"Certainly we've been viewing this and studying this and trying to make some decisions for the future for a very long period of time," Delta Mayor Lois Jackson told On The Coast host Stephen Quinn.

"We do have 62 kilometres of dikes in Delta, so wherever possible, we're raising the height of our dikes to encompass the future."

Jackson says one section near the Oliver Pump Station on Boundary Bay has recently been raised by a metre and performed well in the storm.

But close by was a section where work hadn't been completed, and storm surges came over the top.

"There's lots of work to be done in the whole Lower Mainland relative to diking, and we should be collectively talking with federal and provincial people to make sure we're prepared for the future," she said.

Another issue, she says, is Delta's border with the U.S. She says sometimes dikes on the Canadian side hold up well, but the American dikes aren't built up enough, causing flooding in Canada as well.

"Certainly that's a bit of a problem and has been for a long, long time," she said. "So we're going to have to talk to Washington State again and put something together that'll be a little more effective."

To hear the full story, click the audio labelled: Last night's storm was bad, but Delta bracing for climate change future


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