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RMWB getting $6.6 million for flood protection

Last Updated Mar 13, 2019 at 3:11 pm MDT

PHOTO. Fort McMurray after the 2013 floods. Melanie Walsh. MORNING NEWS ANCHOR. Melanie Walsh

The lower townsite of Fort McMurray will become more protected against flooding thanks to $6,590,000 from the provincial government.

The money will go towards a project that includes a flood protection berm along Prairie Loop Boulevard.

In a press release, Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci said “Flooding has a devastating impact on our families, communities and economy…That’s why our government is committed to protecting Albertans by investing in flood resilience. With smart investments in critical projects like the ones announced, we can improve public safety for Albertans where they live and work.”

Fort McMurray has seen at least 15 floods since 1835, 14 of which were ice jam floods.

In 2013, flooding significantly damaged many areas downtown including Heritage Village, which was closed for almost four year after.

The 2016 wildfire caused uncertainty on how to proceed with flood mitigation, but by Dec. 13, 2018 it was recommended to use a combination of berms and retaining walls to resist ice forces.

Construction along the Snye River has been completed, with plans to add 0.5 metres to the already constructed wall. The remaining 10 areas are either under construction or under revision.

Fort McMurray is under flood water annual when the river breakup occurs near the end of March and start of April.