Feds pour money into flood mit­i­ga­tion

Winnipeg Sun - - NEWS - — Sun staff

The prov­ince’s flood­mit­i­ga­tion ef­forts will ben­e­fit from nearly $800,000 in fed­eral fund­ing an­nounced Thurs­day.

The pro­vin­cial and fed­eral gov­ern­ments an­nounced $794,520 in fed­eral fund­ing over the next three years will be used to pro­duce flood­risk maps for three “pri­or­ity” wa­ter­sheds in Man­i­toba. The lower Assini­boine River from Portage la Prairie to the wester Perime­ter High­way, the White­mud River and the Souris River will be the ar­eas the flood-risk maps tar­get. Re­mote sens­ing tech­nol­ogy will help the prov­ince add flood in­for­ma­tion to its map­ping in­ven­tory, to a to­tal of more than 29,000 sq. km. of map­ping data.

“It just gives us a way bet­ter idea of the el­e­va­tion right down to a small scale,” pro­vin­cial In­fra­struc­ture Min­is­ter Ron Schuler said. “We will be shar­ing it with our com­mu­ni­ties. I think we need to be a lit­tle bit smarter about where we go ... Clearly there is his­tor­i­cal data, but this will give us the real sci­ence be­hind where you are in dan­ger if you’re go­ing to be build­ing any kind of de­vel­op­ment.”

Schuler said in­vest­ing in the map­ping tech­nol­ogy will mean greater ev­i­dence for the prov­ince to tar­get in fu­ture flood events.

“We also need the sci­ence to help us with where we should be flood proof­ing, and per­haps there’s some ar­eas where there’s just no value in flood proof­ing,” he said.

Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment Doug Ey­olf­son, in place of Pub­lic Safety and Emer­gency Pre­pared­ness Min­is­ter Ralph Goodale, said the map­ping is one part of plan­ning for “dis­as­ter mit­i­ga­tion.”

“We are look­ing at all the risks that we’re see­ing over time with weather changes caus­ing in­creased risk of fires, in­creased risk of floods,” Ey­olf­son said. “This is part and par­cel of what our govern­ment’s strat­egy is.”

SCHULER ‘Real sci­ence’

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