Crews will be practising what to do in a flood on Friday on Lakes Road. Here, crews tackle the real thing on Canada Avenue several years ago. (Citizen file)

North Cowichan to hold flood exercise Friday that will affect Lakes Road traffic

Traffic delays expected

In preparation for the upcoming rainy season, crews from North Cowichan will be running a flood-training drill on Lakes Road at Beverly Street on Nov. 1, from 10:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.

There will be single lane traffic on Lakes Road along with a crane truck and traffic flaggers during this time.

Commuters can expect some delays and are advised to plan to use an alternate route during this time, if possible.

Since the significant flood in 2009, North Cowichan and adjacent local governments have made significant investments in infrastructure to prevent and mitigate flood damage.

Dikes have been raised, new dikes constructed, new pump stations built, and gravel and log jams regularly removed from the Cowichan River.

Despite these improvements, some localized flooding should still be expected in certain areas during heavy rain events.

There are three gaps within the diking and pumping system that accommodate roads located at Canada Avenue, the Trans-Canada Highway, and Lakes Road.

There are procedures in place to systematically close these gaps if waters rise to a certain level.

In recent years, closures have been limited to Canada Avenue.

“Every year, localized flooding occurs and we hear from residents who think this means our diking and pumping infrastructure systems aren’t working,” said North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring.

“In fact these systems are doing exactly what they are intended to do. Our operations staff are well trained in what to do in the event of a flood and run drills each year to maintain their skills and practice for all contingencies.”

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