Floods are the most frequent natural hazard in Canada. They can occur at any time of the year and are most often caused by heavy rainfall, rapid melting of a think snow pack, ice jams, or more rarely, the failure of a natural or human-made dam. The region contains a variety of freshwater features including a large number of rivers, lakes, and streams. There are three major floodplains within the region: the Nanaimo River Floodplain; the Little Qualicum River floodplain; and the Englishman River Floodplain. Each of these rivers has a notable flooding history. In 2019, the RDN completed a Flood Risk Assessment as part of the National Disaster Mitigation Program to inform the next steps to disaster risk reduction activities while increasing the capacity and resiliency of the region as a whole. 

Flood Risk Assessment 2019

Coastal Flood Hazard Maps have also been developed as part of the Sea Level Rise and Climate Adaptation program designed to use the latest approaches in science and engineering to better understand flood hazards and identify applicable flood mitigation options to reduce the risk of flooding. 

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During the wet fall/water season, residents are recommended to prepare early if residing in an area prone to flooding, and to keep sandbags in place until spring if in use. Sandbags are available at both the Coombs/Hilliers and Dashwood Volunteer Fire Halls if needed by local residents for flood prevention. 

Residents need to fill and place sandbags on their own. More general information can be seen here on flooding and sandbags. It takes two people about 1 hour to fill and place 100 sandbags, giving you a 1-foot-by-20-foot wall. Make sure you have enough sand, sandbags, shovels and time to prepare properly. If you require assistance filling and placing sandbags, please contact your neighbours, family and friends. 

Below is a video that shows how to properly fill and place sandbags: