François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, announced funding for a project to protect communities along the Bow Valley in Alberta from debris flooding.

“Taking concrete steps to adapt to the impacts of climate change is more and more essential to ensuring a safe prosperous future for our kids and grandkids,” said François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “By investing in this important flood protection project, we are helping the communities of the Bow Valley get ahead of the problem. This important work will equip the community with the infrastructure it needs to better protect residents, become more resilient to future flooding events and greatly reduce the costs of recovery following extreme weather incidents.”

In June 2013, extreme rain and snow melt resulted in a large debris flood that caused millions of dollars in damages to communities in the Bow Valley, closed major transportation routes, and damaged local residences.

This project involves reinforcing flood mitigation structures along several steep mountain creeks in the Bow Valley to reduce the risks of debris flooding. It also involves re-vegetation and bio-engineering work to control erosion problems.

Once complete, residents of Canmore and the Municipal District of Bighorn will have peace of mind knowing that measures have been taken to reduce the risks and damage caused by debris flows and debris floods. This will protect local residences, businesses, and transportation routes.

“I am very pleased the Government of Canada has recognized the magnitude of the large-scale flood reduction projects required by our two municipalities to reduce the hazards posed by steep creeks in our communities,” said Dene Cooper, Reeve of the Municipal District of Bighorn. “Reducing the risk to loss of life, infrastructure, and property is our top priority. Having the federal government alongside with funding will make our communities safer and more resilient in the face of future extreme weather events occurring in the Bow Valley.”

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The Government of Canada is contributing $13,760,000 to this project through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF). DMAF is a $2-billion, 10-year program to help communities build the infrastructure they need to better withstand natural hazards such as floods.

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