A group of North Shore residents have presented their case to the RDCK board for repairing and upgrading the deteriorating safety structures on Duhamel Creek built in 1948 and last overhauled in 1968.
The Stewards of Six Mile feel that with the growing concern for public safety and costs to the transportation infrastructure such as fixing roads and bridge washouts, an urgent response is needed, before the situation gets worse.
“The time for action is now. We are sitting on a ticking time bomb that could explode at anytime,” says Bob Rutherglen, of Stewards for Six Mile.
According to the organization, the result of not acting could destroy homes and devastate a school, École des Sentiers-Alpins, located between the two rock channels. This will also hinder emergency vehicles from doing their jobs if a disaster develops, they say.
“The dyke that is located at Duhamel Creek is rotting and could cause more problems than just flooding,” says Dave Afford, another member of Stewards of Six Mile.
The group has been reaching out to the provincial government, through their MLA, but have only been told this is not a provincial matter.
“With the cost, research, and engineering needed to fix this structure it is not something that can be done locally,” says Jean Carne\ of Stewards of Six Mile. “We need provincial funding, and assistance, to build new structures.”
“There are hundreds of these dykes that were built by the province, so how does this not make it a provincial matter?” asks Afford. “There are only a few that we know of, so I can’t fathom what the others look like.”
“RDCK can’t do anything about it, unless there is a service,” says Hans Cunningham, an RDCK director. “This means that to use a service there would be a tax, could be $50 a year, but there has to be a service.”
Funding to address flooding at Duhamel Creek could come from the Federal Government Disaster Fund, BC Climate Preparedness, and Community Works , according to the organization.