Long-term Flood Mitigation Plan

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

PREFERRED OPTION

Following public engagement with Abbotsford residents, farmers and business owners, City of Abbotsford staff presented Abbotsford City Council with the details of a preferred flood risk reduction and mitigation option for their consideration on June 13, 2022. Council unanimously approved the recommendation to support the presented flood mitigation option in principle as well as the first phase of a multi-year phasing program for its implementation. City staff will now prepare a funding submission to the Province of BC.

Based on community feedback and additional technical analysis, the Preferred Option is a hybrid concept, combining some of the key infrastructure enhancements and flood-mitigation concepts originally identified in Options 2, 3 and 4. View details about the new hybrid option in the flatsheet and comparison chart.

Through the engagement period, City staff learned the top three priorities for Abbotsford participants were avoiding damage to buildings, barns and other infrastructure, preserving existing and for agriculture and food security and maximizing opportunities for agriculture. Common key themes from community feedback included the desire to meet provincial standards for flood mitigation, plan for the long-term and prepare for more regular flooding events, address the issues to avoid repeating past events, protect future generations and future investments and reduce potential impacts on homes, farms, businesses and transportation routes. More details about the engagement process and the feedback received can be viewed here.

The intent of the new preferred option is to preserve agricultural land and minimize impacts on properties by spreading out water. This option would meet minimum flood protection guidelines in B.C. and incorporate enhancements such as dyke setbacks and floodway creation and provides a high level of overall protection. The level of protection offered by this option to Sumas Prairie Lake Bottom is up to a one in 200-year event (with climate change considerations). A video recording of the presentation to Council can be viewed here.

Following feedback from Abbotsford residents, farmers and business owners and additional technical analysis, this multi-phased option starts with building a Sumas River Pump Station. The new Sumas River Pump Station will address impacts in the event the City is unable to open the flood boxes, which is what occurred in November and also occurs during spring Freshet. Throughout the public engagement sessions the addition of a new Sumas River Pump Station was consistently stated as needed and desired.

The next steps toward project implementation include creating a more detailed plan to articulate the specifics of the scope of work, including where infrastructure will be built, as well as ongoing engagement with First Nations, residents, businesses and stakeholders. The plan for this new preferred option will be used to inform funding discussions with senior levels of government.

BACKGROUND

In November 2021, Abbotsford experienced one of Canada’s largest flooding disasters when the Nooksack River overflowed and breached its dyke and floodwater headed straight to Abbotsford, flooding Sumas Prairie. Recovery work is underway and more information can be found on the City of Abbotsford website.

The City of Abbotsford is working with engineering consulting firm Kerr Wood Leidal, to develop a long-term flood mitigation plan for Sumas Prairie. Through the plan, the City considered four different options designed to enhance the City’s existing flood related infrastructure and reduce flooding impacts to residents and the community. These options were presented to Council on April 4 and more information about them can be found below. In April and May, Abbotsford residents, businesses, and neighbouring governments had the opportunity to learn more about each option and share their feedback on what matters most to them through information sessions and surveys.

Based on the feedback received through the engagement period, as well as additional technical analysis, a new hybrid preferred option was developed. This preferred option was presented to Council on June 13, 2022 for their consideration and was unanimously approved in principle, along with a recommended multi-phase phasing program for its implementation.

ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES - Closed

Three engagement sessions were held in early May 2022 with Sumas Prairie residents. All Abbotsford residents were able to provide their feedback through an online survey which was available until May 15, 2022. The City of Abbotsford will use all of the feedback we received to inform our future plans and discussions with senior levels of government.

The City of Abbotsford has also begun it’s intergovernmental conversations with Semá:th, Màthexwi and Leq’á:mel First Nations leadership. Provincial and Federal governments, City of Chilliwack, Fraser Valley Regional District, and Whatcom County, Cities of Everson and Sumas in the Washington State in United States, will also be engaged.

Feedback received during the engagement period was taken into consideration and used in conjunction with additional technical analysis in the development of the new preferred option. View the full report and engagement findings.


DRAFT FLOOD MITIGATION OPTIONS - April 4, 2022

Currently, when the Nooksack River overflows its banks, the water floods adjacent land and flows towards the flood boxes on Sumas River in Abbotsford. If these flood boxes are closed due to the water levels of the Fraser and/or Vedder rivers, water is held back and can flood properties as demonstrated by the latest atmospheric events. Depending on the volume, water can overflow the Sumas Dyke into the former lake bottom area of Sumas Prairie. The November 2021 rainfall in Abbotsford was estimated to be approximately a one in 100-year event.

Four draft options developed for discussion with residents, businesses, governments and stakeholders range in cost from an estimated $209 million to nearly $2.797 billion and offer a range of flood mitigation and protection measures for residents and businesses of Sumas Prairie. View the video describing the 4 options here.

  • Option 1: Status quo with enhancements to Barrowtown Pump Station.
  • Option 2: Status quo with enhancements to Barrowtown Pump Station and a new Sumas River pump station.
  • Option 3: Added floodway and storage area, enhancements to Barrowtown Pump Station and a new Sumas River pump station.
  • Option 4: Added narrow floodway, enhancements to Barrowtown Pump Station and a new Sumas River pump station and more.

On April 4, 2022, City staff presented these options to Council for their information. View the video of this Council presentation.

PREFERRED OPTION

Following public engagement with Abbotsford residents, farmers and business owners, City of Abbotsford staff presented Abbotsford City Council with the details of a preferred flood risk reduction and mitigation option for their consideration on June 13, 2022. Council unanimously approved the recommendation to support the presented flood mitigation option in principle as well as the first phase of a multi-year phasing program for its implementation. City staff will now prepare a funding submission to the Province of BC.

Based on community feedback and additional technical analysis, the Preferred Option is a hybrid concept, combining some of the key infrastructure enhancements and flood-mitigation concepts originally identified in Options 2, 3 and 4. View details about the new hybrid option in the flatsheet and comparison chart.

Through the engagement period, City staff learned the top three priorities for Abbotsford participants were avoiding damage to buildings, barns and other infrastructure, preserving existing and for agriculture and food security and maximizing opportunities for agriculture. Common key themes from community feedback included the desire to meet provincial standards for flood mitigation, plan for the long-term and prepare for more regular flooding events, address the issues to avoid repeating past events, protect future generations and future investments and reduce potential impacts on homes, farms, businesses and transportation routes. More details about the engagement process and the feedback received can be viewed here.

The intent of the new preferred option is to preserve agricultural land and minimize impacts on properties by spreading out water. This option would meet minimum flood protection guidelines in B.C. and incorporate enhancements such as dyke setbacks and floodway creation and provides a high level of overall protection. The level of protection offered by this option to Sumas Prairie Lake Bottom is up to a one in 200-year event (with climate change considerations). A video recording of the presentation to Council can be viewed here.

Following feedback from Abbotsford residents, farmers and business owners and additional technical analysis, this multi-phased option starts with building a Sumas River Pump Station. The new Sumas River Pump Station will address impacts in the event the City is unable to open the flood boxes, which is what occurred in November and also occurs during spring Freshet. Throughout the public engagement sessions the addition of a new Sumas River Pump Station was consistently stated as needed and desired.

The next steps toward project implementation include creating a more detailed plan to articulate the specifics of the scope of work, including where infrastructure will be built, as well as ongoing engagement with First Nations, residents, businesses and stakeholders. The plan for this new preferred option will be used to inform funding discussions with senior levels of government.

BACKGROUND

In November 2021, Abbotsford experienced one of Canada’s largest flooding disasters when the Nooksack River overflowed and breached its dyke and floodwater headed straight to Abbotsford, flooding Sumas Prairie. Recovery work is underway and more information can be found on the City of Abbotsford website.

The City of Abbotsford is working with engineering consulting firm Kerr Wood Leidal, to develop a long-term flood mitigation plan for Sumas Prairie. Through the plan, the City considered four different options designed to enhance the City’s existing flood related infrastructure and reduce flooding impacts to residents and the community. These options were presented to Council on April 4 and more information about them can be found below. In April and May, Abbotsford residents, businesses, and neighbouring governments had the opportunity to learn more about each option and share their feedback on what matters most to them through information sessions and surveys.

Based on the feedback received through the engagement period, as well as additional technical analysis, a new hybrid preferred option was developed. This preferred option was presented to Council on June 13, 2022 for their consideration and was unanimously approved in principle, along with a recommended multi-phase phasing program for its implementation.

ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES - Closed

Three engagement sessions were held in early May 2022 with Sumas Prairie residents. All Abbotsford residents were able to provide their feedback through an online survey which was available until May 15, 2022. The City of Abbotsford will use all of the feedback we received to inform our future plans and discussions with senior levels of government.

The City of Abbotsford has also begun it’s intergovernmental conversations with Semá:th, Màthexwi and Leq’á:mel First Nations leadership. Provincial and Federal governments, City of Chilliwack, Fraser Valley Regional District, and Whatcom County, Cities of Everson and Sumas in the Washington State in United States, will also be engaged.

Feedback received during the engagement period was taken into consideration and used in conjunction with additional technical analysis in the development of the new preferred option. View the full report and engagement findings.


DRAFT FLOOD MITIGATION OPTIONS - April 4, 2022

Currently, when the Nooksack River overflows its banks, the water floods adjacent land and flows towards the flood boxes on Sumas River in Abbotsford. If these flood boxes are closed due to the water levels of the Fraser and/or Vedder rivers, water is held back and can flood properties as demonstrated by the latest atmospheric events. Depending on the volume, water can overflow the Sumas Dyke into the former lake bottom area of Sumas Prairie. The November 2021 rainfall in Abbotsford was estimated to be approximately a one in 100-year event.

Four draft options developed for discussion with residents, businesses, governments and stakeholders range in cost from an estimated $209 million to nearly $2.797 billion and offer a range of flood mitigation and protection measures for residents and businesses of Sumas Prairie. View the video describing the 4 options here.

  • Option 1: Status quo with enhancements to Barrowtown Pump Station.
  • Option 2: Status quo with enhancements to Barrowtown Pump Station and a new Sumas River pump station.
  • Option 3: Added floodway and storage area, enhancements to Barrowtown Pump Station and a new Sumas River pump station.
  • Option 4: Added narrow floodway, enhancements to Barrowtown Pump Station and a new Sumas River pump station and more.

On April 4, 2022, City staff presented these options to Council for their information. View the video of this Council presentation.

  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    The City of Abbotsford is working with a team of consultants to develop a long-term flood mitigation plan for Sumas Prairie. Through the plan, the City is considering different options designed to enhance the City’s existing structural flood protection infrastructure and reduce flooding impacts to residents and the community.  

    The four options being presented to Council have been developed for discussion with residents, businesses, governments and stakeholders. Options range in cost from an estimated $100 million to nearly $2.3 billion and offer a range of flood mitigation and protection measures for residents and businesses of Sumas Prairie.

    The City is now seeking feedback on these four options and will use the input received to support the identification of a preferred flood protection option. This preferred option will be presented to senior levels of government as part of a request for funding.

    Please take the survey to share what matters to you in terms of flood mitigation.  Information about engagement opportunities specifically for Sumas Prairie residents and business owners will be coming soon.

    SURVEY CLOSES MAY 15, 2022


    Take Survey
    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    The City of Abbotsford is working to develop a long-term flood mitigation plan for Sumas Prairie and would like to hear from you as a Sumas Prairie resident and business. While there is a shorter survey online for all Abbotsford residents that is similar, this survey includes additional questions for Sumas Prairie residents and businesses only, as you were most significantly impacted. 

    Through the long-term flood mitigation plan, the City is considering different options designed to enhance the City’s existing structural flood protection infrastructure and reduce flooding impacts to residents and the community.  The four options presented to Council have been developed for discussion with residents, businesses, governments and stakeholders. Options range in cost from an estimated $100 million to nearly $2.3 billion and offer a range of flood mitigation and protection measures for residents and businesses of Sumas Prairie. 

    The City is now seeking feedback on these four options and will use the input received to support the identification of a preferred flood protection option. This preferred option will be presented to senior levels of government as part of a request for funding. 

    Please take the survey below to share what matters to you as a Sumas Prairie resident and/or business operator.

    SURVEY CLOSES MAY 15, 2022

    Take Survey
    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    Over the coming months, the City would like to connect directly with Sumas Prairie residents to share additional details about the Build Back Better flood mitigations concepts, discuss how flood mitigation efforts may impact residents of Sumas Prairie, and hear feedback on what matters most to residents and their neighbours. 

     If you are a Sumas Prairie Resident and would like to register to be contacted regarding upcoming engagement opportunities with the City, please provide your contact information below. Please note – all fields are mandatory to register:

    Complete Form
    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
Page last updated: 24 Jun 2022, 11:53 AM