Mission flood berm saved 500 buildings: report

A report commissioned by the city shows a dirt berm constructed in Mission prevented 500 homes and businesses from flooding last June.

Homes and business spared due to dirt berm built in days and hours leading up to flood

A report on last year's berm in Mission shows the massive pile of dirt along Elbow Drive did what it was supposed to do — prevent hundreds of properties from being flooded in the Beltline. 1:02

A report on last year's berm in Mission shows the massive pile of dirt along Elbow Drive did what it was supposed to do — prevent hundreds of properties from being flooded in the Beltline.

The berm was quickly put in place on Elbow Drive near Fourth Street S.W. in the days and hours leading up 
to the disaster.

The report, done by an independent consultant, estimates 500 buildings — spread over approximately 70 hectares — were spared from the flood. It also estimates the berm stopped the flow of 50 cubic metres per second
from spilling into the downtown from Mission.

The report concluded the berm brought the level of the Elbow River up an extra 16 centimetres near the Fourth Street bridge and 28 centimetres near the 25th Avenue bridge.

Rick Valdarchi manages the city's River Flood Mitigation Program.

"What's very interesting in the report it talks about a flow of 50 cubic metres per second, what would have been entering into the downtown through Mission. To put that into perspective, 50 cubic metres per second is what we see, is slightly higher than what we see on the Elbow River in June during regular runoff, so quite significant."

The findings were given to the city's flood mitigation expert panel with a recommendation to continue to use the berm as part of the city's emergency response.

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