Kennebecasis watershed group helps rebuild after flooding
Volunteers were testing Trout Creek’s water flow in downtown Sussex on Monday
The Kennebecasis Watershed Restoration Committee is working to rebuild and restore areas in the Sussex region that were damaged by spring flooding and post-tropical storm Arthur.
Members from the non-profit organization are working to restore some of the stream banks that were damaged by major rain storms this year.
Chris McKnight, the restoration co-ordinator, was watching as members of his team tested Trout Creek’s water flow in downtown Sussex on Monday.
They were trying to predict how the watershed reacts to extreme weather.
"It can help us in the future gauge how much water may be coming down in a rainfall event,” he said.
Sussex was one of the most-affected areas from the flooding in the spring. Flooding in Sussex and Sussex Corner was caused by an ice jam on the Smith Creek River near the Oldfield Road, along with high water in the Kennebecasis River and Trout Creek.
That flood forced the mayor of Sussex Corner to declare a state of emergency after an estimated 70 per cent of his village was under water.
Ben Whalen, the committee’s project manager, said they are witnessing different effects from the spring flooding, as well as post-tropical storm Arthur.
"There's been areas where the river wasn't flowing and now it is flowing. And some cottages and seasonal cottage owners are now cut off from their property because rivers have cut out their roads or there's be culvert wash-outs, so those are some of the changes that we're seeing,” Whalen said.
The committee is working to restore damaged stream banks by planting trees and shrubs.
The watershed restoration committee’s website said the group has already planted more than 6,000 trees along degraded stream banks and they anticipate that more than 8,000 more trees will be planted.
"We use a various number of techniques for bank stabilization whether it's bioengineering, which is using living material to stabilize that erosion site, or hard armour in the form of rock material,” Whalen said.
Whalen said their work will help lower the impact of the watershed's changes.