A long awaited re-mapping of the Red Deer River through Drumheller has begun.
"Starting last week, there were river surveyors on a jet boat on the Red Deer River collecting cross sections to get information about the river bottom, explained Peter Bezeau, co-manager of the mapping project. "There have also been survey crews on the ground collecting elevations of the berms and dikes as well as bridges and all the information we need to build a really good model of the river."
"We're digging into the science behind the river and looking at what floods can be expected and how we can build information that will support emergency response," he elaborated. "It will result in new flood maps, we call them flood inundation maps, so it looks at the range of floods, from a two year flood to a 1,000 year, so 13 different size floods."
Existing flood maps for the valley don't take into account the Dickson Dam, which opened more than 30 years ago as a flood control measure, and so include almost the entire town of Drumheller as being at high risk of flooding. Bezeau says the idea is to bring them up to date with the best quality science based information available.
"The project kicked off in June, the survey will be complete this summer and then, we go back to the offices and do all the engineering work," he outlined. "That isn't scheduled to wrap up until spring of 2020; these are big projects and they take quite a bit of time to finish."