Keyano denied overland flood insurance, preparing for flood season with temporary dams

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Keyano College has been unable to get overland flood insurance coverage this year, so the college is preparing for this year’s flood season with temporary barriers.

All buildings at the college’s downtown campus are below the 100-year flood plain level and saw heavy damage during last year’s flooding.

A Wednesday statement said college leadership is working with an insurance broker and their insurance provider for short and long-term solutions to the flood problem. But for now, buildings will be protected from flooding with temporary flood barriers called Tiger Dams. The temporary barriers are filled with water and can be deployed quickly.

Dale Mountain, Keyano’s interim president and CEO, said in a statement the dams will be ready for April’s flood season. The college will also practice setting up the dams annually for emergency preparedness.

“Keyano College is being proactive in our approach to avoid this level of devastation from occurring again,” said Tracy Boyde, vice president of infrastructure and CIO, in the statement. “Utilizing a Tiger Dam system affords protection of critical infrastructure and gives the college time to develop a permanent flood mitigation solution.”

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Last April’s flood caused approximately $55 million in damages to the Clearwater Campus, Syncrude Sport and Wellness Centre, engineering lab and the Bob Lamb Building. Restoration work has been completed on many buildings, and the Clearwater Campus, engineering lab and the athletic centre reopened in August. But, the college is still working on recovery.

Long-term solutions include building fixed barriers, changes to storm and sanitary sewers, and improving the college’s water pumping system.

The municipality is spending $10 million on flood preparedness this year. Neighbourhoods at risk of flooding are being protected with similar temporary barriers called Triple Dams. Temporary clay berms are also being built. The municipality is also offering people sandbags to protect property.

Starting April 1, three storm outfalls leading to the river from Longboat Landing will be closed. Pumping equipment will be on standby to pump storm water out of the system.

Other work includes watertight manhole covers and closing underground passages to control water flow. Pumps are also on standby.

lbeamish@postmedia.com

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