There has been ongoing outcry from Drumheller and area residents about designs for dikes and berms along the Red Deer River.
One concern in particular is the proposed use of these flood mitigation systems for walking paths and biking trails, and how large the berms will be to accommodate a path or trail.
“Much of our flood mitigation is now as a result of the controlled flow via Dickson Dam,” Red Deer Councillor Lawrence Lee told the Mail.
Drumheller, being downstream of Dickson Dam and the City of Red Deer, also benefits from controlled flow at the dam. This was crucial during the flood event of 2005, though dike and berm structures also provided further protection to the community.
In Northern Alberta the Town of Peace River is another river community familiar with flood events-most recently in April 2020 due to ice jams on the Peace River. To help protect the community against future flood events, a continuous dike system was established throughout the town, with approximately six kilometres of fully paved trail developed along this system.
“Our dike trail has become a very popular attraction offering a paved multi-use path along the river,” says Communications Coordinator Autumn Hulme. She adds the dike system is designed to accommodate flood events, including 1 in 100 year floods.
In the May 12 edition of the Mail, Chief Resiliency and Flood Mitigation Officer Darwin Durnie explained segments of the flood mitigation systems would be paved with more use of these areas possible in the future.
Final berm designs for the Town of Drumheller have not yet been released at this time.