The recent flooding in Kitimat has officials thinking mitigation.
The flash flood caught everyone by surprise especially those camped along the river. Some of them said the water rose swiftly over a period of just a matter of a couple hours causing camper units to be washed away and over a dozen camper had to be plucked off the roof of their units and from out of trees.
Now the district is looking for ways to prevent future events.
One thing being looked into is gating three points on the eastern bank of the river- the river intake, Giant Spruce Park and the Pollution Control Centre. The idea is to prevent vehicles from accessing the river bank, but several residents took exception to the limited access. They told council gates would prevent the public from being able to fish or hike along the rivers edge. Some suggested perhaps a bylaw instead of gates would work because that wouldn’t totally restrict access.
Apparently there was a sign at one point on the dyke road that stated no riverside camping and the area had a curfew of 11:30 p.m. And those who lingered were chased away by the RCMP.
While a motion to stop riverbank access didn’t pass, council did pass a motion that calls for a working group of citizens and local organizations to be formed to deal with the access and camping questions.
Because the road washed out and needs to be repaired council also voted to immediately close Hirsch Creek Park for the year.