To help strengthen resilience against climate-related hazards, the Province is providing funding to the City of Merritt for a pair of projects to strengthen flood-risk assessment and mitigation in the community.
Merritt will receive $2 million to build a 200-metre dike to mitigate flooding along the Coldwater River from Voght Street to Garcia Street. The area includes Claybanks RV Park, which had extensive flooding during the atmospheric rivers of November 2021.
“British Columbians are concerned about the increasing effects of climate change and the emergencies we’re already experiencing – like drought, flooding, extreme heat and wildfires,” said Bowinn Ma, Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness. “By funding local, on-the-ground projects, our government is helping First Nations and local governments protect their communities and keep people safer from future emergencies.”
The Province will also provide $150,000 for a flood-risk assessment and emergency preparedness project to support the city’s actions before and during future flood events. City public works staff will use the plan during flood events to prioritize inspections, erect flood protection in high-risk areas and implement emergency response measures.
“We are exceedingly grateful to the Province and the Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness for their continued support in helping the City of Merritt in its recovery efforts,” said Michael Goetz, mayor of Merritt. “These grants are not only critical to helping the city mitigate the risk of future flooding, but they are also integral to economic drivers, such as the much-valued Claybanks RV Park, and equally essential to laying the groundwork in rebuilding the Middlesboro bridge on Voght Street, which was demolished in the flood.”
The Province is providing a total of approximately $5 million to several communities through the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF) under the Disaster Risk Reduction-Climate Adaptation stream. These investments also support the Province’s Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy, which outlines a broad range of actions until 2025 to address adverse climate effects and build resilience throughout B.C.
In February 2023, the Province provided $180 million to CEPF, bringing the total provincial investment in the program to $369 million since its establishment in 2017. More than $165 million has been provided to First Nations and local governments through CEPF for approximately 1,600 projects that help communities prepare for disasters and climate-related emergencies. The CEPF is administered by the Union of BC Municipalities on behalf of the Province.
In response to the growing number of climate-related emergencies in B.C., the Province also launched ClimateReadyBC, which provides mapping tools, risk data and resources to help communities better prepare and reduce the risk from disasters and climate emergencies.
Intake for the current Disaster Risk Reduction-Climate Adaptation stream will be open until March 28, 2024.
For information about the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund, visit: https://www.ubcm.ca/cepf
For information about disaster and climate-risk reduction, visit ClimateReadyBC: https://www.ClimateReadyBC.ca
To learn about the Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy, visit: http://www.gov.bc.ca/BC-Adapts