County to explore Meadowview flooding concerns
BY KIRK STARRATT
Kings County Advertiser
Many Meadowview area residents have experienced flood conditions in recent years, and Kings County council wants to take solve the problem before the situation happens again.
Engineering and public works director Richard Lloyd, who presented a staff report to councillors at the November committee of the whole (COTW) session, said the flooding conditions have probably been caused by a number of factors: high rainfall events, spring run-off, roadway storm drainage structures, the narrowing of the Cornwallis River, the Kentville bridge structure and issues related to the Cornwallis River flood plain.
Council asked staff at September COTW to identify issues associated with the flooding problem, and ways to address the issue. Staff was directed to send a letter to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to request funding assistance for a flooding study.
Lloyd said the county has conducted other flood evaluations in the past, such as the one for Fales River in Greenwood, where he said there was a similar problem with the river overflowing its banks. “The initial step is to look at the problem and identify causes and potential solutions with preliminary cost figures,” he said.
Engineering staff determined the Cornwallis River is prone to high water levels at specific times of year due to the wide flood plain in the area, heavy rainfall events, spring run-off and tidal influences.
The close proximity and low elevation of area houses may increase the potential for flooding. The narrowing of the Cornwallis River at the Kentville bridge creates a natural bottleneck in the river, and the further obstructions downstream relating to the Ducks Unlimited project and berming near the municipal complex may cause further restrictions.
A newer Kentville flood control berm on the south side of the river may cause additional flooding influences on the north side near the Meadowview residential area, although Lloyd pointed out town studies have indicated this is not the case.
Engineering staff determined also the storm drainage system along Brooklyn Street might cause the release of overflow from the river into the Meadowview residential area.
Lloyd said the specific causes of the flooding problem are complex and likely interrelated. A preliminary flooding evaluation, performed by a consultant specializing in the field will be required. This evaluation would also determine potential costs associated with corrective measures.
Lloyd said the initial cost for a preliminary flooding study is expected to be about $25,000. There is no budget for the work and it isn’t on the existing municipal capital budget for 2009/ 2010.
Councillor Dick Killam, who represents the area, said he has been in touch with several residents who are concerned. Many were hit badly in the major spring flood in 2003. “With respect, I have difficulty believing that there won’t be an exaggerated impact to the community since the dyke was put up on the other side of the river,” he said, pointing out he believes it’s important for council to move proactively.
Killam said the community could be badly impacted in coming years, considering global warming and rising water levels.
Lloyd said there would be a number of potential solutions identified and they would try to find the option with the least environmental impact that is also cost effective.
Councillors voted to have staff approach Advanced Geomatics Research Group in Middleton to determine a cost for expanding the flood impact study at the mouth of the Cornwallis River into Port Williams further up the river to include Meadowview. Council also voted to have staff identify the Meadowview flooding study as a project for council to consider for 2010/ 2011 or future years.