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General Questions

How can I find out more about areas flooded in Drumheller for the design flow rate of 1850m3/s?

The Province has produced mapping for unregulated flows on the Red Deer River, so mapping for the 1850m3/s design flow is not currently available on their website, but the 1:50 year return period flood is very close to this flow rate at 1870m3/s.  The inundation extents can be see at https://floods.alberta.ca/ by clicking on the “Drafts” button, navigating to Drumheller and selecting the 1:50 year return period event from the bar on the right side of the screen.

Where can I get more information on the Province’s work on the Drumheller Flood Mapping?

More information is available on the Province’s on-going flood hazard studies website at:  https://www.alberta.ca/draft-flood-maps.aspx

Where can I get a copy of the Province’s report which has the design flow rates?

The Province’s hydrology study for the Red Deer River at Drumheller can be requested by email from aep.flood@gov.ab.ca.

What is the purpose of the Drumheller Resiliency and Flood Mitigation Office?

The purpose of the Drumheller Resiliency and Flood Mitigation Office (DRFMO) is to protect the people and property in Drumheller from loss due to flooding and changes in climate, and to preserve the value of property and ensure risk is reduced to levels which allows financial and insurance products to remain available.

Where does the funding come from?

The funding breakdown for the Flood Mitigation Project is as follows:

Alberta Government:

  • 18GRSTR41 – Flood Relocation/Mitigation Buyouts Grant - $20M
  • Alberta Community Resilience Grants of $3.73M and $3.72M, totalling $7.45M

Disaster Mitigation Adaptation Funding - $22M

Town of Drumheller - $6.6M

What is the Drumheller Flood Mitigation and Climate Adaptation System (DFMCAS)

DFMCAS is a multi-hazard solution covering 100-km of riverbank, designed to reduce flooding and protect Drumheller into the 22nd century. It began in April 2019 and will end in 2024. The program is based on the following areas of focus:

  • Communication and public engagement
  • Regulatory/ approvals
  • Conveyance capacity
  • Structural measures
  • Municipal Emergency Plan

What is the Government of Alberta's Disaster Recovery Program (DRP)?

The DRP provides financial assistance to qualifying applicants to help restore uninsurable property lost or damaged by a disaster to its basic, pre-disaster functional condition. DRPs provide financial assistance as a last resort to assist those affected by a disaster.

In March 2021, changes were made to the DRP setting homeowner funding limits and implemented cost-sharing mechanisms between the government and program applicants.

To read the full impact of the update and information on the DRP, click here.

Are there any plans to look into dry dams or spillways upstream like Calgary?

No. While the solution may work in other areas of the province, it is not a consideration for us. Click here to read the Concept Evaluation for Drumheller Upstream Flood Storage.

Is the federal funding in place?

Yes, on August 11, 2020 Mayor Colberg announced confirmation of the funding. Most projects within the Resiliency and Climate Adaptation System could not start until the funding agreement was signed.

Why aren't land acquisition prices released?

Land acquisitions are private transactions. Council approved a land acquisition policy  whereby all acquisitions are based on a current market value appraisal by a certified appraiser. This process is currently being reviewed. We do need to respect the confidentiality of the purchase agreements. Owners are free to disclose this information if they wish.

Is the flood office audited?

Yes. The flood office goes through an audit process with the federal government, provincial government and the Town. A 2020 management audit was recently completed affirming the approach being used.

What is the response time for flood office questions?

Due to the volume of emails received, the flood office will respond within 7 business days.

When will property owners be advised that they are now located in the floodway?

Much of the Town of Drumheller currently is within the Provincially designated floodway, this has not changed since the Provincial Flood Hazard mapping was published in 2007 (https://floods.alberta.ca/).  The Province has indicated that with the upcoming Flood Hazard Mapping update, there will be no new areas designated as floodways.

When will the Town address the residents' concerns regarding devaluation of property assessment, insurance and renewal of mortgages for those properties now in the floodway and for those properties that will not be protected by a dike?

Current land use bylaws state that within the flood conveyance zone, residents are allowed to replace existing buildings or structures in the same location for the same use if they can overcome the flood hazard, subject to acceptance of the town and a member of APEGA. Residents can also renovate existing buildings as long as they do not increase the floor area below the flood construction level.

It is also important to note that many properties will increase in value as a result of the flood protection.

Why did the Town purchase "flood properties" when they are now being rented out?

Purchases of current properties were initiated by property owners. Houses are being rented to offset ongoing monthly maintenance costs until properties can be removed starting in spring 2022.

It has most recently been stated that the tendering process for dikes will commence in January 2022. Will this timeframe inflate the prices for potential bidding as there could potentially be 2-3 feet of snow on the ground?

No. It is very common to tender work over the winter.  Experienced contractors are adept at bidding on projects in the winter. This allows them the ability to be ready to start construction early and have a longer construction season. 

Who are the members on the Flood Mitigation Community Advisory Committee and what have they accomplished to date?

The members of the Community Advisory Committee are Cate Samuels, Harvey Saltys, Irv Gerling, Wayne Powell, Keith Hodgson, and Tony Miglecz. The Committee meets on a weekly basis to work towards their mission of enhancing communication among all parties on matters relating to the Flood Mitigation Project.

I have heard that the flooding in 2005 and 2013 was made worse by the operation of Dickson Dam, can you comment on that?

The Dickson Dam provides a significant level of flood protection to the Town of Drumheller. We have been able to reduce the Red Deer River 100-year design flood flow rate from 2260m3/s to 1850m3/s by taking into account the operation of Dickson Dam. 

 

What is the 1:100 flow rate for the Rosebud River for inundation? What is the likelihood for flooding due to non-regulated flooding and ice jams?

As per Northwest Hydraulics’ recent hydrology study for the Red Deer Basin, the 1:100 year flood flow rate for the Rosebud River is 292m3/s. It should be noted that the Rosebud River is strongly influenced by the Red Deer River flood level for the first few km near the mouth, so design flood levels based on floods on both rivers need to be considered for selecting design elevations. Northwest Hydraulics also looked at ice jam flooding on the Rosebud River but found that based on historic flood events, the open water (no-ice) flood event would govern. The question around the probability of flooding is a bit more complex here as it depends on what the Red Deer River levels are at. Considering the Rosebud River alone, the 11 Bridges Campground is flooded at a 1:10 year flood (10% chance annually of occurring) and Rosedale starts to be flooded at a 1:20 year flood (5% annual chance of occurring).

How many properties will be flooded at less than the 1:100 level and are currently not being considered or do not qualify for any flood mitigation/protection?

There are a number of properties in areas of flood risk that the Town does not currently have funding to protect with a permanent berm nor to offer buyouts.  By having more permanent infrastructure in place, however, the Town will be in a better position to provide support for temporary emergency response measures in these areas.  The Town’s land use bylaw defines the areas that have the potential to be impacted by flooding, and restricts the types of development permitted in these zones, limiting putting additional future properties at risk.

Given the changes to the provincial Disaster Recovery Program, specifically the minimum flow rates required to qualify being the 1:100 level, will all people living in these unprotected portions of Drumheller also receive the same DRP protection?

Properties in Drumheller that are not protected by flood berms would still be eligible for relief on a one-time basis under the Provincial Disaster Recovery Program to support recovery from extraordinary events (considered by the Province to be floods > 1:100 year return period event).