Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Langley City: Building with flooding in mind

With significant flooding starting yesterday in Langley City caused by an “atmospheric river” rain event, many people might be wondering what the municipality does to reduce the severity of damage and danger caused by flooding.

Flooding along 208th Street.

The first guard is the floodplain which can accommodate seasonal flooding. For flooding occurring every 1 in 10 years, you will see localized road closures and parkade flooding like yesterday. 1 in 200-year events will see more significant flooding.

The following map shows the three stages of flooding events. The darkest blue is regular seasonal flooding, the lighter blue is 1 in 10-year flooding, and the lightest blue is 1 in 200-year flooding.

Flooding event map. Select map to enlarge.

Langley City’s new Official Community Plan states that “habitable space and storage in the floodplain [be] at or above the flood construction levels and [that the City] update flood construction levels to account for the impacts of climate change.”

The following map shows the sections of Langley City where the flood construction level bylaw applies and the 1 in 200-year flooding boundary.

Flood construction level map. Select map to enlarge.

Most apartments in this area will see their parkades flood today during a 1 in 200-year flooding event. However, there are older houses and commercial buildings that will flood from before the City had a flood construction level bylaw.

If you see buildings with parkades that jut above the ground level, one of the reasons they extend above the ground level is to protect from flooding.

Langley City’s latest floodplain elevation bylaw is from 2010.

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