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A river runs through it

A commitment to protect homes and road access around McDougall Creek is now complete.

"Last year I promised West Kelowna residents that we would find a cost- effective, long-term flood protection solution for McDougall Creek," said Premier Christy Clark, MLA for Westside-Kelowna. "This is a promise made, a promise kept and it happened because we all worked together to do the right thing."

The $585,000 project was primarily funded through BC's Flood Protection Program (FPP), with the provincial portion covering up to two-thirds of the work, $340,000. The remaining one-third was paid for by the District of West Kelowna. It also includes a claim for $75,000 through the provincial Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) program for removing debris and temporary emergency works from McDougall Creek to restore the creek to its pre-disaster condition.

McDougall Creek is an area with high hazard flood potential that has experienced several recent adverse flooding events.

These events have impacted residents and the local government and resulted in private property losses and increased emergency management costs for the Province.

"Residents in West Kelowna are grateful for the work that has been done through this provincial-municipal partnership," said West Kelowna mayor Doug Findlater. "It is a relief that we are going into spring freshet having addressed this ongoing issue. With help from Premier and MLA Christy Clark and the BC government, we've been able to protect both our community and the creek habitat."

Barbra Hart's home has flooded for the last few years, she's glad the work was completed before this year's runoff.

"In the last ten years it has gotten worse, more vegetation and the berms were not high enough and the extra sediment coming down would raise the level of the creek to where in some places the level of the creek was higher than the road. It was an accident waiting to happen. (Now) It's much deeper and much wider and I'm not concerned at all."

Hart says they could never take a vacation at this time of year and they would be up all night worrying.

"We can go away on a little holiday now, and we can sleep at night. So huge relief, huge." 
 

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