The province appears to be listening to a Sundre group’s concerns about the need to take action to prevent future river flooding, says one of its members.
Red Deer River Quality Control Committee member Myron Thompson and other representatives met with a pair of Alberta cabinet ministers earlier this month to lobby for a risk assessment on the river in the Sundre area.
Thompson said despite its budget woes, the province appears to be committed to undertaking risk assessments in the most flood-prone areas of Alberta this spring.
“Hopefully, we’ll be high on the priority list, at least.”
The assessment is expected to support the committee’s case for funding to undertake flood control measures, such as berms, along the river south of Sundre.
Fears of flooding have been heightened over the last year after the river changed course, moving several hundred metres to the north and running along a stretch of low banks.
Thompson and other committee members were joined by Wildrose Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre MLA Joe Anglin in a meeting in Edmonton with Environment Minister Diana McQueen and Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths.
The government was presented with 160 letters from residents concerned about potential flooding.
Assessing the flooding threat from the Red Deer River may not take any additional work, he said.
“One of the wiser bureaucrats that was in there with the Department of Environment said he felt there were enough studies and information already completed that there wouldn’t be any cost,” Thompson said.
It was suggested that it would just be a matter of going over the work done to assess where the Red Deer River stood as a priority, Thompson said.