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Understanding Flood Risk

This page is designed to keep the citizens of Dawson Creek informed of the flood risk in their community. Information is also located on the Facebook Page; Dawson Creek – Understanding Flood Risk. 

On June 24, 2011, Dawson Creek suffered heavy rainfall, and as a result, many homes, roads, businesses and city properties were flooded. A majority of the flooding occurred in basements due to sewer backups as well as flooding from the surrounding creeks. Soon after, another storm hit Dawson Creek on July 9th, where the road crossings and the creeks were flooded again.

In response to the flooding of 2011, the City embarked on the development of a Sanitary Sewer Master Plan, which was finalized in January 2013. This included plans for upgrades to the City’s sewer infrastructure.




Figure 1: Flooded property – Dawson Creek June 2011

Figure 2: High water – Dawson Creek June 2011

Figure 3: Flooded road – Dawson Creek June 2011

Figure 4: Flooded road – Dawson Creek June 2011

Figure 5: Flooded 17th Street Looking North – Dawson Creek July 2011


In June 2016, the City of Dawson Creek experienced heavy rainfall and was flooded, again this time there was significant overland flooding and sewer backup. Flooding on 8th Street, along with other roads in the centre of the City restricted north/south travel, cutting the City in half. With flooded homes and businesses, as well as damaged roads and bridges, the recovery effort from this event was significant. Some of the reconstruction efforts included bridge replacements and road repairs.

Figure 6: Photo of Flooded Dawson Creek in June 2016

Figure 7: 8th Street in Dawson Creek during flood event – June 2016 (While this is an interesting representation of the flood it looks like it was not filmed from the safest location. Don’t forget that safety is a primary concern during a flood; turn around, don’t drown! More information on flood safety can be found here:

Figure 8: Flooded 15th Street Crossing – Dawson Creek June 2016

Figure 9: 8th Street in Dawson Creek following flood event – June 2016


In 2017 the City of Dawson Creek received a grant from Emergency Management BC and is currently working with a consultant team on a flood mitigation planning study to get a better understanding of both the flood hazard for Dawson Creek and the vulnerability within the community. The study will help to understand where the water comes from, when does it flood, where does the water go, where might it go in the future? As a first step, workshops were hosted in November 2017 with City staff, Council, local authorities and the public. Flood impact information was collected during the workshops and was digitized.

Figure 10: Understanding floods – Workshop participants test measures in physical river model

Figure 11: The Fire Chief tests a flood mitigation measure in the physical river model

Figure 12: City Councillors discuss direct and indirect flood impacts in flood workshop

Figure 13: Dawson Creek residents hear about flood response and planning at a public meeting


The map below shows the hot spots for flood impacts in Dawson Creek from 2016 and 2017. Hotspots are areas where many impacts of flooding were noted in close proximity to each other, the darker the spot, the greater the number of recorded impacts.


If you experienced a direct impact; e.g. your house was flooded, your place of business was flooded and it doesn’t currently show on the map; we’d appreciate hearing from you. Please send details of the impact; what was wet, when did it occur, and how long did it last to, and the information will be used for future work. This information used together with more detailed information on flood frequency, extents, and depths will be used to develop a risk assessment in spring 2018. This risk assessment will be used to support future grant applications and to help the City identify suitable flood mitigation measures and with priority actions.