Commuters who have driven 272nd Street at 43rd Avenue may have seen a sign that has warned the area is “subject to flooding” or have even perhaps seen the road covered by water.
On social media groups, Aldergrove residents have frequently posted about the issue – often warning other drivers not to take the stretch of road as it looks to be impassable.
But many who are not from that particular Aldergrove area wonder why that rural stretch is particularly susceptible to rainfall.
Kevin Larsen, manager of water resources and environment with the Township of Langley, explained that the Salmon River is subject to flooding due to the natural topography in the area, particularly during intense and prolonged rain events.
“The other primary cause of the flooding is attributed to wildlife activity, particularly the presence of beaver dams, resulting in channel restrictions located on private properties in the area, preventing the natural flow of water,” Larsen noted.
The Township of Langley relies on collaboration with private property owners, to ensure unimpeded flow of water along streams and watercourses on private property.
Property owners are required to maintain watercourses on their lands, including managing beaver activity in accordance with applicable rules and regulation.
In certain circumstances, subject to owners granting the Township with a statutory-right-of way (SRW) for drainage purposes, the Township can take on the maintenance responsibilities if there is a risk to public health or municipal infrastructure.
A SRW is necessary to allow the Township with legal access and the ability to maintain the watercourse and drainage in perpetuity.
“Township of Langley staff are currently in communication with property owners in the area where known watercourse blockages are present, in an effort to compel property owners to conduct the works themselves, or provide the Township with a SRW such that the Township is able to investigate and mitigate flooding, including future maintenance and beaver management,” Larsen explained.
In addition, Larsen said a number of mitigation works and projects have occurred, including a hydraulic assessment of the Salmon River upstream of 268 Street, stream restoration works, and replacement of the culvert on 43rd Avenue east of 272 Street.
If the road is underwater, people are advised to use caution and drive the stretch slowly.
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