Canada Avenue was one of several roads in the Cowichan Valley closed due to flooding last winter. (Citizen file)

Editorial: Disparaging dikes/pumping system as a failure unfair, untrue

No, we didn’t spend millions on nothing.

Yes, it works. No, we didn’t spend millions on nothing.

That was the message late last week from the Municipality of North Cowichan about its diking and pumping system, put in place after a devastating flood in 2009 that forced the evacuation of much of the neighbourhood around the Cowichan Sportsplex off Beverly Street.

The flood saw many homes left in need of extensive renovation before people could move back in.

Local governments heeded the warning and have done a great deal of work to try to make sure that while portions of the land around Duncan will never be high, they will remain relatively dry.

But that doesn’t mean that people won’t still see roads flooded in some areas, including Canada Avenue at Sherman Road, along with other well-known low spots.

It’s a case of the perils of building a community on low land — not for nothing is the Somenos Marsh adjacent to these areas. Our past hubris in assuming we can (and should) control nature, including the flow of water into these areas, has left us with what we have today. Nowadays most communities think a lot longer and harder before bringing in fill and building on wetlands. But we can’t turn back the clock.

So into the breach, our municipal governments have done a good job of preventing future catastrophic flooding.

But that hasn’t stopped some from complaining, assuming off-the-cuff that a few occasionally flooded streets during particularly heavy rainfalls is a sign of incompetence and waste by our local officials. It’s an unfair charge. If the systems that have been put in place weren’t working, or were a failure, a lot more than pavement would be underwater.

And of course there are cases where culvets and ditches get plugged and drainage backs up.

The indisputable fact is that people are not having to wade through their neighbourhoods pulling small boats filled with their worldly belongings as they did in 2009.

All we face this winter, and fingers crossed, many winters to come, is a little occasional inconvenience if a road or two is closed. We’d call that a success.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cowichan Performing Arts Centre, Big Stick light up red to signal COVID devastation

“COVID-19 has been truly devastating to the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre”

MacGregor hosting virtual town hall on green COVID economic recovery

“Making the right investment decisions now to ensure a visionary carbon-conscious recovery…”

Elder College going online with dozens of courses this fall

There are 16 courses in the September session

Thanksgiving Food Drive coming to your door in Cowichan

Next week will be your chance to help meet the food crisis

Cowichan Community Centre Elder College celebrates 20th anniversary

Volunteer instructors are the key to success.

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

Most Read