Watch above: The city is estimating the cost to fix 150 older neighbourhoods in order to prevent flooding will be $2 billion. Shallima Maharaj has the details.
EDMONTON — The City of Edmonton has outlined a few options it’s looking at to fund a $2.4 billion city-wide flood mitigation program.
Severe storms in Edmonton in 2004 and 2012 caused street flooding and sewer back-ups in several neighbourhoods across the city.
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After the major flooding in 2004, the city implemented a $146 million program to address flooding in 31 at-risk neighbourhoods. Following the storm in 2012, the program was expanded to include another 24 neighbourhoods.
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Now, the city hopes to grow the program further, to enhance flood mitigation measures in 123 neighbourhoods and 26 industrial areas in Edmonton. The city-wide plan being developed will provide a “100-year level of flood protection” for identified areas, according to a report heading to a City of Edmonton Utility Committee meeting next week.
Preliminary costs for the program are pegged at $2.4 billion – about $25 million to $50 million per year for the next 50-100 years, beginning in 2019.
“This is an estimate of what is needed. As we get into the plan, then we will start to work out the exact details of the cost estimates in any given neighbourhood and the type of works that are applicable to that neighbourhood that will mitigate the flooding,” said Chris Ward, the branch manager for the city’s drainage services.
City Administration has outlined a couple of funding options for the program, which include rate increases and applying for both provincial and federal grants.
According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, water damage is the leading cause of property damage in Canada, costing insurers about $1.7 billion per year.
The report will be debated by the city’s Utility Committee next Thursday.