River Flood Mapping

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In B.C., local governments, including the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) are responsible for land use management, including the management of land use in relation to natural hazards, which includes flooding. To better understand flood hazards the RDN is leading a series of studies on the Englishman River, Little Qualicum River, Nanaimo River and the coastal zone. The studies are part the RDN’s broader Flood Management Program and build on the region-wide flood risk assessment completed by the RDN in 2019.

These studies will provide updated floodplain maps and assess the risk to communicate key vulnerabilities in the floodplain and to inform integrated flood management planning that considers climate change. This information will also be used to inform flood management planning, now and into the future through an update to the RDN’s Floodplain Management Bylaw No. 1469 and other applicable policies and plans.

To learn more about the RDN's approach to flood planning click on this video (5 minutes).

How Can I Get Involved & Learn More?

  • Subscribe to this project page to receive periodic updates directly via email
  • Visit the Document Library to learn more about related projects and initiatives
  • Visit What's New to see the project updates
  • Ask us a question on the Q & A tab and we will share it and the answer
  • Be Prepared. Sign up for the RDN Emergency Alert System to receive local emergency alerts.

In B.C., local governments, including the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) are responsible for land use management, including the management of land use in relation to natural hazards, which includes flooding. To better understand flood hazards the RDN is leading a series of studies on the Englishman River, Little Qualicum River, Nanaimo River and the coastal zone. The studies are part the RDN’s broader Flood Management Program and build on the region-wide flood risk assessment completed by the RDN in 2019.

These studies will provide updated floodplain maps and assess the risk to communicate key vulnerabilities in the floodplain and to inform integrated flood management planning that considers climate change. This information will also be used to inform flood management planning, now and into the future through an update to the RDN’s Floodplain Management Bylaw No. 1469 and other applicable policies and plans.

To learn more about the RDN's approach to flood planning click on this video (5 minutes).

How Can I Get Involved & Learn More?

  • Subscribe to this project page to receive periodic updates directly via email
  • Visit the Document Library to learn more about related projects and initiatives
  • Visit What's New to see the project updates
  • Ask us a question on the Q & A tab and we will share it and the answer
  • Be Prepared. Sign up for the RDN Emergency Alert System to receive local emergency alerts.

Ask us a question about the river flood mapping project

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    I have read the flood mapping overview and revised map for the LQR and have a couple of observations. In the report you describe flooding on Surfside Dr and attribute it to high river flows. This is incorrect, as far as I remember. When there has been flooding on Surfside it has almost always been due to a King tide combined with a strong north wind blowing seawater from the ocean and through the properties. (The picture in the report shows this event.) Rain and River level was not a factor. The only time there has been flooding on Surfside due to high river flow was after a water main was installed and the small berm behind Surfside was not adaquately restored following this work. One other occasion was in 1967 when a log jam at the mouth of the LQR backed up water in the entire estuary and flooded across the road at the McFeeley/Kinkade junction.

    Daryl Erickson asked 3 months ago

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and observations. As you’ve experienced, central Vancouver Island is known for its seasonal rain events in the Fall and Winter, which is also the time of year for coastal storms. Some low-lying areas may be influenced by coastal flooding or river flooding, or a combination of both.   

     The flood analysis for Little Qualicum River outlined in the LQ River Overview Report does not include coastal flood hazards, such as storm surge and coastal flooding. The Overview Report provides a summary on present-day and future river flood conditions, with and without allowances for climate change and sea level rise. The findings, summarized on page 7 of the Report, indicate some properties located along Surfside Drive and McFeely Drive will be exposed to river flooding in the future under extreme river flooding events, such as a 200-year return period. Some low-lying areas may experience coastal and overland flooding now, which may be further influenced by extreme river flooding in the future.

     For information about coastal flood hazards, visit the RDN webpage here: www.rdn.bc.ca/sea-level-rise-adaptation-program

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    Please provide an update on the Little Qualicum River hydrological study. --You must at least know what stage you are at and when you expect to release your report. That would be very helpful. (I do feel like we are due for some update or other, thanks.)

    Lindsay Burrell asked 11 months ago

    With improved weather and river conditions the project teams have resumed and the two remaining river projects are scheduled for completion this year.  For further details, I've posted an update, under news items' on the project page, here: Update on River Projects

    Thank you for your interest in the projects. Future updates will be added to the project's webpage as things continue to progress.

Page last updated: 10 Jan 2023, 11:49 AM