Port Hardy district gets cash for culverts

PORT HARDY—Hoping to avoid a repeat of last year’s flood, Port Hardy council announced it will be using close to a half-million dollars in grant cash to fix decrepit culverts.

PORT HARDY—Hoping to avoid a repeat of last year’s flood, Port Hardy council announced it will be using close to a half-million dollars in grant cash to fix decrepit culverts.

Rick Davidge, chief administrative officer, said September’s deluge caused the worst flooding this community has experienced.

“It was all infrastructure damage for our part, but the household damage out there was phenomenal — about 400 or 500 homes,” said Davidge, who noted the heavy rains and subsequent floods caused more than $1 million in damages.

“It was really odd, the North Island is known for its rain, but the (flooding rain) happened over a six or seven hour period,” he said.

Davidge said about 170 mm fell in the Port Hardy area over the course of just a few hours.

“It was just a deluge … it was quite amazing.”

A big contributor to the flooding was the state of the culverts, he said.

“They were just plain old and undersized.”

Council announced at its regular June 14 meeting $400,000 would be coming into city coffers via the provincially funded Towns For Tomorrow, a provincial program that provides funding for infrastructure projects to address climate change and contribute to the overall health, sustainability and livability of communities.

“We were aware of that program and it was very timely for us,” said Davidge.

All the new cash will be going towards new culverts.

“There are two sections of culverts on the bottom end of the Beaver Harbour Road and Chatham Avenue, so there’s two crossings there that will have to be upgraded.”

Davidge said the province picked up 80 per cent of the flood damage costs and “we fund the rest.”

The job will be going to tender and Davidge said it’s possible the work could be done before the fall.

“We’re hopeful it will be.”