Abbotsford Mission MLA Simon Gibson announced $10.5 million in funding to improve Nicomen Island diking system as FVRD Electoral Area G Director Al Stobbart looks on.

Abbotsford Mission MLA Simon Gibson announced $10.5 million in funding to improve Nicomen Island diking system as FVRD Electoral Area G Director Al Stobbart looks on.

$10.5 million invested to improve Nicomen Island diking system

Abbotsford-Mission MLA Simon Gibson makes announcement on Monday.

The Fraser Valley Regional District’s Nicomen Island diking system will see a $10.5-million investment in dike and pump upgrades, as part of the province’s major investment in emergency preparedness and public safety.

The funds are part of more than $80 million in emergency preparedness funding announced by the province on March 15.

Abbotsford-Mission MLA Simon Gibson made the “important announcement” on Monday afternoon at  North Fraser Firehall #1 in Dewdney.

“As we know, back in the ’48 flood, basically the whole island was flooded over. And those pictures you see of the flood, most of them were taken either here or Matsqui Prairie.”

The 35-kilometre system of dikes at Nicomen Island, is in many areas, too steep or too low and could pose a hazard in a major flooding event.

Gibson said the funding is for two projects, $6 million for dyke slope widening to protect the community from high water and $4.5 million for improved pumping capacity to move the water out when it gets in.

The pumping system upgrades will increase the functionality of the pumps to better cope with flooding, and will allow all pumps in the system to function concurrently.

Fraser Valley Regional District Electoral Area G Director Al Stobbart was also on hand for the announcement.

Stobbart said the upgrades will “better protect the 700 residents and the agricultural and Leq’a:mel First Nations lands throughout the island.”

He also noted that “Nicomen Island is an important part of the Fraser Valley Regional District’s agricultural base and in addition to protecting our island residents, the upgraded dykes will also help secure Nicomen Island’s substantial agricultural economy.”

The island has a diversity of commodities formed with more than 6,000 dairy cattle, blueberries, strawberries, forage crops, nurseries and others with an estimated $26 million in annual gross farm receipts.