Monday, September 22, 2014

Harewood Flood Zone Signs Moved Around

Are Flood Hazard signs really necessary?

The continuing saga of the Colliery Dams in Harewood has now seen the city remove 15 Flood Hazard waning signs and relocate 15 of the signs throughout the 'flood zone' in Harewood. Needless to say, the residents who now have one of the relocated signs in front of their property are less than pleased, as the signs are seen as reducing property values in the area.

For those who have not tuned out this ongoing opera, you will know that a proper study of the dams concluded they would not suddenly fail in a seismic event. It was the hypothesis of engineering firm KCB that predicted a wall of water would suddenly tear through Harewood taking as many as 150 lives following the complete failure of two dams in Colliery Dam Park in a matter of minutes following an earthquake. That has now been proven a pure work of conjecture not based on fact.

As you will note the above sign refers to an earthquake as being the event which should send residents of the area fleeing for their lives. In the event of an earthquake is this really the best advice now? What if we were downtown along the waterfront? Should we flee that area for fear of a tsunami? If so, where are those warning signs?

The signs seem a little misleading.

Mythical Flood Now The Hazard

Since the seismic event is no longer going to trigger this catastrophic event it seems those responsible for our safety are now convinced a flood of Biblical proportions 'could' also cause problems, and hence the spending of millions of tax dollars to solve another hypothesis. Is it any wonder, confidence in the brain trust at city hall is becoming less and less as this saga continues? After spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a completely disproved hypothesis, we are now expected to put blind faith and confidence in yet another hypothesis?

If the hypothetical event were to ever occur that would result in the massive flood which apparently warrants the installation of 65+ signs throughout Harewood, how many other areas around Nanaimo should be sporting the same warning signs?

A reader of this blog commented recently, that at the entrance to Nanaimo, there should be signs carrying the warning "Beware Nanaimo City Council".



  1. The Inundation Study which concluded that up to 150 people could be killed during an earthquake mode of failure was actually done by Associated Engineering. The Engineer who authored that study did in fact change employers and was again the engineer involved with KCB in subsequent exaggerated reports. Now it seems that even Golder is subcontracting further flood inundation analysis and mapping to AE (my guess is that AE in turn) subs it out to KCB. The costs keep piling up and these engineers must be laughing all the way to the bank. The only small ray of sunshine in this whole rainstorm is that now there is a possibility that City Council will direct staff to have a further study done to confirm if there is indeed such a flood hazard (a step that should have been done two years ago) and if this happens and is done correctly then this whole "the sky is falling" book may finally be closed.

  2. The sign shuffle is akin to chairs being shuffled around at council chambers after this November's election.

    Can you say - Titanic!


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