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Storm cleanup bill pegged at $740,000

City dips into reserve fund
By Mike Youds
July 30, 2015 3:48 A.M.
Cleanup efforts in Oak Hills after the June 30 storm.

The City will tap into a reserve fund to cover the estimated $210,000 cost of the cleanup from the June 30 storm that struck Oak Hills.

City council approved a staff recommendation to draw $250,000 from the past-year accumulated surplus reserve to ensure its share of the cleanup is adequately covered.

Total cost of the emergency works is estimated at $740,000 and Victoria will cover $630,000 of that through the Provincial Emergency Program.

A couple of storms swept through the City in late June, the second and most severe of which sent a torrent of water, mud and debris cascading over Oak Hills. Twenty homes on Parkview Drive and 40 homes in the Oakdale Trailer Park below were evacuated.

Emergency services, along with the City and utilities, responded immediately to the crisis.

“People out there expressed appreciation for the City’s response and presence, because it was very tough times out there,” said Coun. Pat Wallace when staff gave an update on the cleanup efforts.

Part of the cleanup cost is to clean out a dissipator, part of the stormwater system that serves the hillside neighbourhood, which was filled to capacity with debris.

“When you saw the impact and the amount of debris deflected from the Westsyde area, it really proves the worth,” said Coun. Ken Christian.

The dissipator is about 20 metres long with three chambers, each of which is five metres high.

“All of the chambers were filled full of debris and mud,” said Mayor Peter Milobar, who flew over the area in an aerial assessment of the aftermath. “It captured a lot of gravel. It’s a significant piece of the infrastructure that worked quite well.”

That doesn’t mean the cleanup will represent the full bill for the City, which will also be looking at remedial measures to prevent a similar outcome should another deluge strike the area.

As well, the PEP doesn’t cover all of the costs, such as culvert replacement, inlet improvements, ditch and outlet upgrades.

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