The Kitimat River. The $150,000 of government funding provided to Kitimat will go towards a flood mapping study of the river, to help plan for and mitigate future risks. (Clare Rayment)

Government program grants funding for flood mapping study of Kitimat River

Kitimat received $150,000 to help provide flood preparation and support, to mitigate future risks.

Kitimat has been included in a government funding project that will provide flood planning and mitigation support to twenty-four local governments and First Nation communities across the province.

$3.46 million will be provided to the communities, with a maximum of $150,000 for each individual community. It is part of the B.C. government’s nearly $69.5 million Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF), which is designed to help communities plan and prepare for, and respond to disasters.

The CEPF is a group of programs designed to increase the resiliency of local and regional governments, First Nations communities and their residents in the possibility of a disaster. The Province provides the funding, which is administered by the Union of B.C. Municipalities and divided into seven streams, flood risk assessment, flood mapping and flood mitigation planning being one of them.

READ MORE: Flooding unlikely this year throughout Skeena watershed

Kitimat has received $150,000, which will go towards a flood mapping study of the Kitimat River.

The government’s goal with this funding is to ensure eligible applicants have accurate knowledge of the flood hazards they face and to develop effective strategies to mitigate and prepare for those risks, should they occur.

“I have seen first-hand the loss and devastation catastrophic flooding can have on people, families and entire communities,” Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, said in a press release. “In order to reduce the effect of flooding on people and their livelihoods, we are investing now to support flood risk assessments, mitigation and planning work. These projects help create resiliency by improving the capacity of local government and First Nations to respond to and recover from severe flooding events.”

READ MORE: 13 people rescued after Kitimat River floods

So far, the total investment in this project is $3.46 million, but additional funding may be provided for more community projects going forward. Since the September 2017 Budget Update, communities and governments throughout B.C. have received more than $52 million through the CEPF.

“Preparation and mitigation are two critical pillars of emergency management,” Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness, said. “Knowing which hazards exist and how to address them is a cornerstone of preparedness.”

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