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Delta throwback: A winter flood

Still no word how required future dike upgrades will be funded
Delta throwback winter flood 1895
The Delta Archives notes that on the back of the original photo of this image is a stamp for A.E. Fawcett, Druggist, and "Mrs. H.N. Rich" is written in pencil.

Let’s head back to January of 1895 to check out the aftermath of a major winter flood that year.

High tides and a winter storm pushed the Fraser River over the dykes to flood Ladner and other parts of Delta.

The above image shows a flooded Delta Street looking southward, showing early buildings on Delta and Bridge streets.

Those buildings include the Calvert house, Palace Stables, the Grant and Kerr sawmill and the Methodist Church.

It wasn’t the first or last time the community would be flooded.

A major flood of 1948 caused extensive damage to communities along the Fraser River.

Ten people died, 2,000 homes were destroyed and 16,000 residents were evacuated in the region.

It’s estimated that if that flood occurred today, it would cause over $1.8 billion in damage throughout the Fraser Valley.

About half of Delta’s land area is less than 1.5 metres above sea level.

It is estimated Delta's dikes need to be raised by at least 1.2 metres or more to meet 2100 projected sea levels.

It's been suggested that a staged dike upgrading approach be implemented, since the projected sea level rise by 2050 is expected to be around .5 metres and a full metre by 2100.

It's been estimated the cost could be in the billions.