Letters: Dam failure

Letter writer thinks Jordan River dam is very much at risk

Rodney Nyberg incorrectly jumps to the conclusion that I said he was dense, whereas I was talking about BC Hydro – who sometimes get off track or don’t communicate well.

BC Hydro say the Jordan River Diversion dam provides a substantial proportion of the power generated on Vancouver Island, but 80 per cent of our supply comes from the B.C. mainland via undersea cables. BC Hydro wants to purchase several homes to clear the flood risk area so they can continue to produce power from the dam in question without replacing it, I questioned where we’d get power from after a huge earthquake, BC Hydro’s FAQ infers from natural gas, though I am not aware of plans to build a plant. I suggest keeping a safe heater with a stock of Vancouver Island coal.

I did criticize Nyberg’s conspiracy theory about BC Hydro’s motives, recommending he choose the simpler possibility – that’s what the Occam’s Razor principle advises.

His claim about the dam withstanding the earthquake he lived through does not make sense in the context of BC Hydro’s concern about an earthquake of 8 or 9 magnitude – a thousand times stronger than the worst anywhere near Jordan River since the dam was built.

Nyberg seems fatalistic, but damage factors include the structure and the soil. Wood frame houses are relatively resistant, whereas old multi-story masonry buildings and edifices like old legislative buildings are fragile. He should check his location against the B.C. government’s map of risk including liquifaction of some soils. Indeed, the limited damage from recent earthquakes in the Seattle area occurred where one of those factors existed.

Dam failure releases a huge quantity of water that will wipe out much in its path, Nyberg should check where he is relative to that. If he’s high and dry on solid ground why does he think he’d be bad off? If he is in the flood plain he has a choice in theory, as did the hermit who refused to move out of the way of the inevitable explosion of Mt. St. Helens, though the probability of a major earthquake in Nyberg’s lifetime is small.

But I doubt BC Hydro or governments want to take the legal risk and bad PR of a death.

Keith Sketchley

Saanich

Just Posted

Sooke students rally to stock food bank shelves

“For me, it makes the Christmas spirit come alive.”

Extreme case of poop-throwing gives Victoria bike community a bad name

Car centric roads and infrastructure invite cyclist-motorist incidents, says cycling coalition

ICBC warns shoppers of the high-accident season at mall parking lots

Over 150,000 accidents happened during the holiday season last year

Senseless vandalism rocks historic Sooke mansion

Neighbours plead for something to be done

Reducing harm with ‘I carry naloxone’ buttons

Victoria-based designer makes buttons with social justice messages

VIDEO: Two officers of B.C. Legislature escorted out amid investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Awards will recognize business excellence on Vancouver Island

Nomination period begins for Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards

Good Food Summit plants seeds for food security

The Good Food Summit runs Nov. 22 and 23

Shirtless stranger loomed over couch and started stabbing, bloody B.C. murder trial hears

Colin John pleads not guilty as trial opens in 2016 Chemainus murder case

Late 2019 too long to wait for ridesharing: B.C. Conservatives

“While the rest of the world is embracing this transportation revolution, B.C. is only now staggering slowly toward legislation on a business model that’s been mainstreamed for over a decade in other jurisdictions.”

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Students protesting Starbucks’ supplanting local coffee at UVic

The Finnerty Express’s and their Salt Spring Island coffee supplanted by Fall 2019

No deal in sight: Canada Post warns of delivery delays into January

Union holds fifth week of rotating strikes as both sides remain apart on contract negotiations

COLUMN: Higher interest rates will slow B.C. economy after ‘unusually robust’ show

Jock Finlayson is executive vice president and chief policy officer of the Business Council of BC

Most Read