Flood-con­trol mea­sures ap­proved for Rennie’s River

The Telegram (St. John’s) - - PROVINCIAL - BY DANIEL MACEACH­ERN dmaceach­ern@thetele­gram.com Twit­ter: @Tele­gram­Daniel

The City of St. John’s plans to spend $5.3 mil­lion on flood pro­tec­tion mea­sures for Rennie’s River.

“While it did take some time, we have be­fore us a very ex­ten­sive, com­pre­hen­sive re­port that will take some time to digest when you get into the specifics of the re­port,” said Coun. Jonathan Gal­gay, chair­man of the city’s pub­lic works com­mit­tee.

The ap­proved im­prove­ments in­clude weirs and berms in the neigh­bour­hood, and ero­sion con­trol mea­sures for the banks of the river.

Coun. Bernard Davis said Rennie’s River-area res­i­dents have suf­fered flood­ing for years.

“Since 2000 in par­tic­u­lar, when­ever we have heavy rain­fall, they tend to have flood­ing oc­cur here,” he said. “Over the next num­ber of years, we’re go­ing to be work­ing very hard to fill the prob­lems and iden­tify the so­lu­tions in the re­port. Ob­vi­ously there’s a price tag as­so­ci­ated with that, but we’re go­ing to move as fast as we can with that.”

Davis noted the study is the re­sult of a meet­ing held by the res­i­dents two years ago to dis­cuss the flood­ing prob­lems.

“I’d like to thank the res­i­dents that called this meet­ing as well as for­mer coun­cil­lor (Deb­bie) Hanlon, who was in­volved as well at that point,” said Davis. “I’m happy for the res­i­dents, many of whom are in at­ten­dance here to­day, and have worked hard and shown great pa­tience as we work through this study, and it’s a long time com­ing for a lot of them. I know if it was my property, I’d feel the same way they do.”

The first step, said Davis — who said he ex­pects city staff to get to work as quickly as pos­si­ble on the project — is the in­stal­la­tion of a weir at the out­let of Long Pond.

“This will al­low fur­ther im­ple­men­ta­tion of the other rec­om­men­da­tions down­stream, and the in­stal­la­tion of this weir will help re­duce the flood­ing po­ten­tial for the res­i­dents, and this weir will bet­ter al­low the hold­ing and re­lease of ex­cess wa­ter.”

Coun. Dave Lane, chair­man of the city’s en­vi­ron­men­tal ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee, said the plan makes ef­fec­tive use of nat­u­ral flood de­fences.

“The thing with Long Pond is it’s a just wet­land … so there’s a lot of backup po­ten­tial there with­out caus­ing flood­ing, and that has to do with the way we’ve set up our zon­ing and reg­u­la­tions, so that we sus­tain our nat­u­ral wet­lands and wa­ter­ways, so that we can avoid and work around the chal­lenges that come with nat­u­ral dis­as­ters.”

Bernard Davis

Dave Lane

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