Sheep River flood projects planned

Okotoks: Open House scheduled for this week

By: Don Patterson

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Feb 26, 2014 12:23 pm

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Okotoks residents will hear details of an almost five million dollar plan to prevent floods from further eroding the Sheep River's banks and protecting homes near the River.

The Town is hosting an open house on Feb. 27 to update residents living in the Lineham area near the river on plans to mitigate damage from future floods, including work to prevent the river from eating into the nearby river banks any further.

The Town has applied for $4.94 million in funding from provincial government's Flood Recovery Erosion Control (FREC) program to cover the cost of the work.

Municipal engineer Marley Oness said the Town hopes the request will be approved and the Town can begin work soon.

“That's the whole idea with this program is that we can put some of these measures in place prior to our flood season,” he said.

The Town has proposed four projects along the Sheep River in Okotoks, including work to prevent erosion along the river near Lineham Avenue, removing a gravel bar in the same area, measures to protect the Water Treatment Plant and assessing vulnerability of land along the CP Rail tracks near the river.

The Lineham bank stabilization project is planned along the river east of the Okotoks Public Library, where the river bends to the south.

Oness said the plan is to place large boulders along the river bank to prevent further erosion in the area. The work will be done in conjunction with a plan to remove rocks and material above the water level on a gravel bar in the area.

“It's to try to get the channel realigning itself and opening up some hydraulic capacity in there, but providing stabilization of the bank so it doesn't erode any further to the east towards the residences in there,” said Oness.

He said the Town has considered building a berm along the river near the Lineham area to protect homes, but it's not a part of the current list of projects.

“There was an option to build a berm behind the houses, but that would mean having to acquire property and building the berm through private property,” he said.

Oness said the Town needs to know if there is a consensus among area residents supporting construction of a berm.

“We're not taking it off the table, but there might be another program and that's part of the feedback we'll be looking for form the residents on Thursday. If there is a strong desire to really build this berm, there is another program that could be available.”


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