There’s been so much talk about the height and width of berms these days, what is actually happening? Let’s consult the rumour stick.
The long and the short of it is that the existing berms are being made wider and taller. They will have a top that is 6 metres wide and raised to an approximate height of 1.5 meters. The wider top will allow for emergency vehicle access and for the berms to be built higher if, and when, necessary. Where possible, berms will be built steeper than the normal 3:1 slope rate to minimize the amount of private property required to build the berms.
To make this happen consultants are finalizing the berm alignment, meeting with landowners to review alignments with them, conduct appraisals and make offers to acquire portions of land where necessary. That is a lot happening at one time, all moving towards a goal of making Drumheller a safe and sustainable community into the future.
Are trees a help or a hindrance when it comes to flood mitigation?
While trees, brush and vegetation can and will be used as nature-based solutions for flood mitigation — large trees on top of berms are absolutely a hindrance. When the tree dies, or falls over, it will compromise the integrity of the berm. A number of trees are being removed now so engineers can review slope stability and make sure new and enhanced berms don’t contain stumps or root balls. Each tree that is removed will be replaced by a 5:1 ratio with trees and shrubs in the community.