Fort St John's Public Works Department reviewing response to weekend rainfall


Fort St John’s Public Works Department is taking stock after this weekend’s rainfall.

Several areas of the Peace Region were under a flood warning due to the rainfall that lasted from Thursday night to Saturday morning. While it wasn’t as bad as the flooding that occurred last July, some low-lying areas Fort St. John did see flooding, including some homes’ basements. Public Works officials say their teams did admirably considering the situation.

“We were kind of directing our crew to all the places, and there [were] a number of places where these trucks were there and they were continuously pumping, one after the other, so they were working in tandem," said Ramesh Ummat, director of public works. "Our crew were pretty much prepared, but as I said the flow volumes were such that even your normal preparation sometimes gets overwhelmed.”

At the height of the storm, Ummat says the sewer treatment facility received around ten times its normal flow. While he is proud of his crew, Ummat says he is now looking at data, and asking questions about where they could improve the next time a storm like this hits.

“How can we make sure that the pump station in such situations always has adequate capacity?" Ummat said. "Can we have additional pumps somewhere to take care if need be? Can we identify specific low point places, and try to identify why those flood?”

Ummat says he will be reviewing all the drainage systems, including storm sewers, to see if upgrades need to be made.