Calgary flood mitigation workshops hope to engage residents, gather input
‘We were flooded very badly in 2013 and we are hoping we are going to get some ideas’
Flood mitigation projects were introduced to about 60 residents at a citizen workshop at the Hillhurst-Sunnyside Community Association Tuesday evening with an eye towards reducing the risk of damage, like that seen in the devastating 2013 flood.
The city's looking for input on different concepts and ideas and it's a topic that's easy for people to get passionate about, especially those that were flooded in 2013.
Many of them, like Aaron Stayner and Judy Brindle, want to stop it from happening again.
"What we can do both on a personal level for our own property and also on the bigger picture of what the city and the province can do," Stayner told CBC News.
"We were flooded very badly in 2013 and we are hoping we are going to get some ideas about how we can help to prevent it from happening again," Brindle added.
The city laid out different concepts including upstream reservoirs, berms and dikes and residents got into the groups to analyze them and add input.
Frank Frigo with the city says the workshops are a great way to hear new ideas.
"Tonight we are gathering input on a number of flood options that have been studied over the last three years," Frigo said.
About a third of the flood risk that existed in 2013 has been eliminated by current and ongoing work by the city and the province, he explained.
"However there remains a significant risk, particularly along the Bow River."
Frigo said there was a lot of engagement.
"Lots of great discussion, a lot of enthusiasm for the reservoir options," he said.
"It's very important for us to hear Calgarians opinions and views on how the different mitigation options may combine or may affect their specific community."
Workshops will be held in other affected communities until Nov. 1 followed by open houses to share resident input and options.
Frigo says the information will be included in recommendations that will go before council early next year.
Brindle hopes resident input will be taken seriously.
"I hope we have a say, I hope it's not just posturing," she said.
"That is the big worry from a lot of people at our table."
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With files from Dan McGarvey