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ADVANCE TIMES EXCLUSIVE

AT YOUR SERVICE: New floodplain report coming to council this spring

Question-and-answer feature calling on those elected to office in Langley

Langley Advance Times is offering this weekly feature, call it “At Your Service.”

It’s a forum in which to put questions to our local politicians about key issues facing our community and its residents.

Using a basic question-and-answer format, elected officials will be asked one question at a time and given the opportunity to respond (to a maximum of 250 words) on that said issue.

Alternating between elected groups, Langley City and Langley Township councils, Langley School Board, Langley MLAs, and Langley MPs each have a chance to participate.

The answers provided will be published in their entirety online each Sunday.

MOST RECENT – AT YOUR SERVICE: MPs agree new year’s resolution must focus on inflation

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QUESTION

Langley City councillors are being asked: What will the City do to protect structures near the floodplain from future rainstorms that cause major floods?

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ANSWERS

Mayor Nathan Pachal

A. Langley City has a floodplain elevation bylaw, which requires all the new developments to be built to withstand a one-in-200-year flood event.

The City has recently conducted a new study to remap its floodplain to account for climate change. Staff is preparing a report to council to consider approving this spring to update floodplain elevation bylaw based on the results of the remapping.

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Councillor Paul Albrecht

A. This councillor failed to reply to this query prior to deadline.

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Councillor Teri James

A. Langley City has a floodplain elevation bylaw was enacted in 2009 and maps the floodplain extent for Nicomekl River, Murray Creek, Logan Creek, and Jeffries Brook, all located in Langley City.

The bylaw requires that all the new developments follow its requirements by constructing their buildings above its set flood construction levels (FCLs). These FCLs are based on the output from a hydraulic model simulating the flooding effect of a 200-year storm event and adds 0.6 m to the model results as the allowance to account for uncertainty in estimating rainfall variations and modeling assumptions.

Langley City recently conducted a new study to remap its floodplain and FCLs to account for climate change.

Staff is preparing a report to council in the spring of 2023, for its approval, to amend the current floodplain elevation bylaw, which will update FCLs at Nicomekl River, Murray Creek, Logan Creek and Jeffries Brook to respond to the increased risk of flood damages due to climate change.

Under the new Official Community Plan, Langley City references that where possible, new development will be built to support flood management, increase building setbacks and/or increase building elevations in an effort to limit flood hazards.

Regarding the buildings constructed prior to 2009, located within the floodplain areas, Langley City’s engineering operations offer assistance every year to property owners by providing free sandbags to use in low-lying areas within their properties to help protect their buildings.

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Councillor Delaney Mack

A. This councillor failed to reply to this query prior to deadline.

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Councillor Mike Solyyom

A. This councillor failed to reply to this query prior to deadline.

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Councillor Rosemary Wallace

A. The City of Langley has a floodplain elevation bylaw, which maps the floodplain extent for Nicomekl River, Murray Creek, Logan Creek, and Jeffries Brook in the City.

The bylaw also requires all the new developments follow its requirements by constructing their buildings above its set flood construction levels (FCLs).

These FCLs are based on the output from a hydraulic model simulating the flooding effect of a 200-year storm event and adds 0.6 m to the model results as their freeboard allowance to account for uncertainty in estimating rainfall variations and modeling assumptions.

The City understands and has seen the effects of climate change and has recently conducted a new study to remap the floodplain and the flood construction levels to account for climate change.

The staff is preparing a report to City council for approval in spring 2023 to amend the current bylaw that updates the FCLs at the Nicomekl River and other creeks to respond to increased risk of flood damages due to climate change.

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Councillor Leith White

A. This councillor failed to reply to this query prior to deadline.

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UP NEXT

Next week’s Langley Township councillors are being asked: Should future bike lanes on major routes (200th, 208th, Fraser Highway, etc.) be separated from roads for safety and to encourage cycling?

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Watch for their answers online next Sunday.

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Langley Citymunicipal politics

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