An assessment has found that the steep creeks that flow through Nelson don’t pose any risk to safety, but do present a significant economic risk to the city and surrounding area.
“Steep creeks can impact pedestrians, vehicular traffic, and residents,” says a news release from the city.. “Particularly during periods of heavy rainfall, or snowmelt. These hazards can pose risks to development and infrastructure, as erosion and debris accumulated can cause damage to roads, buildings and other structures.”
BCG Engineering provided an in-depth presentation to council this week illustrating their plan to address, and mitigate, issues posed by Anderson/Fell Creek, Cottonwood Creek, Smelter Creek, and Ward Creek. The objective of the study was to provide updated, prioritized flood and steep creek hazard boundaries for use in planning and decision-making around further assessments.
BCG engineer Kris Holm says in order to address the economic impact of steep creek hazards it is vital to understand what needs to be done to upgrade the current infrastructure.
“The process, frankly, in some cases can take several years. We are suggesting Anderson Creek be given priority considering the population density on that fan, the confinement and the types of vulnerabilities that residents have,” Holm says.
Lauren Hutchinson, another BCG engineer, says a detailed analysis is being put forward to council since there has been a substantial amount of development in Nelson along Anderson Creek.
“Given the level of development, we have prioritized it as high potential economic risk,” Hutchinson says. “We recommend a detailed hazard and risk assessment to better understand and manage the risk.”
Hutchinson says Giveout Creek, to the south of the city, could have a significant life safety risk, and could cause a significant impact on transportation between Nelson and Salmo.
“The development is largely manufactured, or mobile homes, which are less resilient to impact,” she says. “We’ve identified there is potential high life safety risk on Giveout Creek, and understand the RDCK will be communicating that to the residents.”
“We also note the 90 degree intersection between the creek and Cottonwood Creek, right where Highway 6 is,” she says. “There is the impact to residents, and the highway. We need to take this all into consideration for any implications this may have.”
The city voted unanimously to seek grant funding through the UBCM Community Emergency Preparedness Fund which will cover $150,000 of the costs.