Most dikes across southwest B.C. could fail under stress, report warned in 2015

The breach of a dike in Abbotsford, B.C., that contributed to disastrous flooding throughout the Sumas plain was anticipated in a 2015 review for the provincial government.

The dike was “too low,” “substandard” and “likely needs to be updated” according to a report, written by Northwest Hydraulic Consultants for the Ministry of Forests which looked at 74 dikes across the Lower Mainland. 

The report looked at dikes that extend for over 500 kilometres, comprising around half of the total length of those in the province.

The conclusions were grim: 71 per cent of them could be expected to fail during a significant “design event,” while none of the dike segments met seismic standards over their entire length.

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