RC106 MayJune2023 - Magazine - Page 16
When the atmospheric rivers hit
B.C. in November 2021, they left a
path of destruction in the southern
part of the province that saw rivers
overrun their banks, sections of
roadways wiped out, farms flooded,
and people unable to access nearby
Taking action to repair
infrastructure that connects
communities by Keith Holmes
HEN EMERGENCIES OCCUR, their impacts can be devastating.
Beyond the tragic loss of human life, the hazards left
in a disaster’s wake can leave people without food
and shelter and cut communities off from the world
With the global impacts of climate change causing
a rise in the severity and frequency of extreme weather events,
we are seeing more of these emergencies here in Canada.
From coast to coast, natural disasters are knocking out power,
severing supply chains, and creating risk to public safety.
In the wake of the destruction, it’s important for governments
of all sizes to have a plan in place to quickly assess the damage,
work with industry and community stakeholders on solutions,
and act on the path forward, all within a short amount of time.
The faster boots can get on the ground, the sooner people can
put their lives back together.
Keith Holmes is the
director, Bridges, BC/
Yukon, WSP Canada.
British Columbia’s atmospheric rivers
When the atmospheric rivers hit B.C. in November 2021, they
left a path of destruction in the southern part of the province.
The worst hit communities, within a few hours’ drive north
and east of Vancouver, saw rivers overrun their banks, sections
of roadways wiped out, farms flooded, and people unable to
access nearby urban centers.
A team from WSP Canada was one of several that was put,
almost immediately, into action across the province to assess the
damage that had been done and figure out how best to create
a solution that allowed people and goods to move into the
affected areas. The stories they share demonstrate how quickly
action was taken, both by government and industry partners, to
support people in every community.
“Finding ways to safely access sites, conduct a thorough
investigation of the damage, and quickly provide options
for temporary and permanent solutions is invaluable in
getting transportation routes re-opened.”
RENEW CANADA – MAY/JUNE 2023