Posts Tagged ‘ flooding ’

How Hydrotechnical Engineers Keep Water Under the Bridge  

  Simply put, a hydrotechnical engineer’s job is all just water under the bridge. British Columbia rivers are dynamic and powerful systems that move large amounts of water, sediment, woody debris and ice from our mountain tops all the way to the ocean. Along this journey, the waters encounter provincial highways and roads, and that’s where we come into the picture. We asked Hydrotechnical Engineer Dan Cossette about how he and his colleagues work to keep bridges, culverts and...

Read more »

5 Ways We Tackle Spring Cleaning on BC Highways

It’s been a long winter, and the white stuff is still on the ground in some parts of the province. But take heart! Spring is finally here, and so comes a little “housekeeping” to keep things in order. What do you include in your spring cleaning checklist? Windows? Closets? Garage? Behind the bed? Under the stove? Well, we also have a list of to-do’s, but it looks a little different than yours. Here are a few things on our...

Read more »

See the Road to Flood Recovery in South Peace

See the Road to Flood Recovery in South Peace

When severe flooding caused by heavy rains wiped out several sections of highway and side road in Northern BC, crews and heavy equipment were quick to respond. The Peace Region flooding began June 15, impacting 186 sites on six numbered highways (97 South, 2 at Dawson Creek, 29 South, 29 North, 52 North) and 40 side roads. There was serious devastation to infrastructure, homes and other personal property. But by noon on June 23, all six highways and 21...

Read more »

Emergency Signs on BC Highways and What they Mean

We have an extensive inventory of signs in use along our highways – many of which you are familiar with. But let’s take a minute to highlight some of our emergency signs – signs which you might not see very often (or which you might notice, but not be familiar with the significance of), that could indicate a potential emergency situation for you while driving. For example, Road Flooded, Washout and Forest Fire signs let you know exactly what...

Read more »

Clearing Your Paths: 5 Big Highway Clean-Ups of 2012

Clearing Your Paths: 5 Big Highway Clean-Ups of 2012

Mother Nature can be harsh on B.C. highways. From rock, snow and ice, to water, mud and debris of various kinds, she packs a serious punch. As much as we guard against floods, slides, and the like, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, along with our maintenance crews, are inevitably confronted with big clean-up jobs every year. We had our fair share of challenges in 2012. Here are five major highway clean-ups from the last 12 months: One serious...

Read more »

Rising Above the High Water Mark on Highway 14

Rising Above the High Water Mark on Highway 14

It should come as no surprise that life on the west coast of Vancouver Island can get pretty wet sometimes. Take Highway 14 near Sooke, for example. This community knows water. Subject to a unique trio of geographical influences, it’s situated in a valley bottom, at the mouth of a river, and prone to tidal flooding from the Pacific Ocean. Winter storms and runoffs can bring large amounts of the “wet stuff”, which can happen so quickly, that flooding...

Read more »

Resisting the Rising Waters – Flood Preparation and Response

In a recent post, we’ve talked about spring freshet. But what happens when water levels start to rise? As we mentioned in the previous article, the River Forecast Centre monitors snow levels throughout the winter and, as the weather warms, we generally have a good idea of how much potential there is for flooding in different parts of B.C. That knowledge helps crews determine the amount of sand, gravel and rock that may be needed to protect our transportation...

Read more »

What is a Freshet? Hint: It’s Not an Air Freshener

So, what is freshet? While it sounds like it could be a brand of scented cleaner or facial tissue, freshet is the snow melt that typically occurs from April to July, in B.C. Freshet can become a problem when winter snow packs melt rapidly, overwhelming stream channels and creating floods. Happily, freshet flooding can usually be forecast by monitoring snow packs and weather, and examining stream capacity data. In the event of a flood threat or actual flood, the...

Read more »