Sandbag season is over, but boating still restricted
Two of three City boat launches remain closed because of high water, but other flood follow-up is starting to take shape.
The launch at McArthur Island is open, but Valleyview and Pioneer Park launches are still closed due to safety concerns. RCMP have closed the river between Lafarge and the confluence of the North and South Thompson rivers.
With flood waters no longer threatening Kamloops houses, residents can start putting out their sandbags beside their garbage cans for pickup beginning Monday, City community and corporate affairs director Len Hrycan said Friday.
Alternatively, those sandbags can be dropped off free of charge at the Mission Flats or Barnhartvale landfills.
The gabion baskets the City put along Schubert Drive, Riverside Park and some other low-lying areas are being dismantled as of Tuesday.
The sandbags will be used at the City landfills to cover waste materials. Sand from the gabion baskets and unused piles of sand are being hauled to the public works yard for use in construction or top-dressing for park turf.
Hrycan said the cost of getting the gabions and setting them up, and other flood-related works totals about $600,000.
The City will later recover staff time above and beyond regular duties. This year’s flood situation required 31 staff helping out at the emergency operations centre and another 50 to 75 staff doing ground work.
The sand came from local suppliers, said Hrycan. It was trucked to the various locations. The City has thousands of sandbags here at any given time, storing them for regional distribution and for within the city.
“We’re a hub for that. We deliver the sandbags and the sand and make it available for residential properties at a variety of locations.”
Hrycan said the City is in talks with the province about storing the gabion baskets for regional flood protection. The baskets are supposed to be put on pallets and shipped back.
“They are a provincial resource. They were stored in the Lower Mainland by PEP. They are collapsible,” he said.
The area groups involved in emergency operations worked well together, a pay off from efforts of having a team for the past three or four years, he said.