Flood brings changes to district policies

CAO gives updates to progress made on recommendations

A number of changes recommended by Oak Bay staff after the Nov. 2012 flood have been implemented, says interim CAO Gary Nason.

The flood occurred on Nov. 20, 2012 at the corner of Bowker Avenue and Eastdowne Road when a valve separated from a water main during a routine fire hydrant replacement.

Water flowed from the breach for six hours, flooding the yards and homes of 16 residences.

In December, a report from then CAO Mark Brennan recommended a number of steps to be taken to prevent similar incidents in the future. At that time it was promised there would be an update to council on these steps in the spring.

Mayor Nils Jensen said council needed to know what the status is with some of the recommendations and see “how we’re doing generally in terms of lessons learned from this unfortunate event.”

The main problem municipal crews had in turning off the water during the flood was that while most valves are “right turn,”  a few older ones are “left turn” and crews did not realize one of the valves they needed to shut off was a “left turn.”

To prevent this happening again, a system is being put in place where all public works staff will have an iPad with access to a map and information of the entire water network, including the stats on particular valves. All information on valves, including the direction of their shutoff, is currently being updated.

The rules for turning off valves during fire hydrant changes have also been updated so that the water supply on either side of a valve has to be shut off before changing a hydrant, when the valve isn’t physically restrained. Even if it is restrained, crews will check the feeder valves before working to make sure they can be shut off.

Staff and council have received further training on how to release information and manage communications during an emergency such as the flood.

The district is also ordering pamphlets from the Municipal Insurance Association which outline the responsibilities of the municipality in relation to property owners.

“In terms of what the municipality should, can, can’t do … typically there’s a lot of questions in that regard after an incident,” said Nason.

Response departments will carry the pamphlets to hand out. There is no cost to the district for the brochures.

A policy has also been put in place to contact police and fire crews as soon as there is the potential for property damage or public safety concerns. Although the flood started at about 9 a.m., fire crews were not called in until nearly 11:30 a.m. and police were not requested to attend until 1:45 p.m.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Firefighters respond to a fire on Heatherly Road in Colwood Jan. 19. (Photo courtesy of View Royal Fire Rescue)
December and January, so far, have seen their share of rain. (Black Press Media file photo)
Potential for snow in Greater Victoria after unusually wet December, January

Winter is on the way, says Environment and Climate Change Canada

Victoria police say the number of business break and enters in the city has been rising for the last four months. (Twitter/VicPD)
Business break and enters on the rise in Victoria

Sophisticated techniques used to defeat alarm systems, police say

The Starbucks in Langford’s Westshore Town Centre is one of almost 300 storefronts that the U.S. coffee giant will be shutting across Canada by the end of March. (Google Maps)
Langford’s Westshore Town Centre Starbucks to close permanently

Popular coffee chain to close 300 storefronts across Canada by end of March

Local MP Elizabeth May says the federal government needs to revise its rules around allowing freighters to anchor in and around the Gulf Islands. (Black Press Media File)
MP Elizabeth May promises to press new transportation minister on issues important to Vancouver Island

Key issues include anchoring freightes, southern resident killer whales and fate of local bus line

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

Health-care workers wait in line at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians who have had COVID-19 should still get the vaccine, experts say

Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were found to have a 95 per cent efficacy

An empty Peel and Sainte-Catherine street is shown in Montreal, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Poll finds strong support for COVID-19 curfews despite doubts about effectiveness

The poll suggests 59 per cent remain somewhat or very afraid of contracting COVID-19

Egg producers in B.C. aren’t obligated to reveal their production sites. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Officials say there’s not enough Vancouver Island eggs to meet demand

BC Egg Marketing Board doesn’t regulate labelling, supply needed from off-Island

A Courtenay resident labours to remove the snow build-up from around her car in February 2019. The area may see snow throughout the coming weekend. Black Press file photo
Snow, winter might not be done with Vancouver Island quite yet

Flurries, snow and cold temps predicted for the weekend for mid-Island

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Most Read