The City of Prince George is partly within the floodplain of the Fraser and Nechako Rivers and is subject to an unusual flooding situation. The Fraser River floods during spring as a result of snow melt, while the Nechako River floods in the fall or winter due to ice freeze-up. In the winter of 2007-08, the City experienced severe ice-related flooding, which highlighted the vulnerability of flood-prone areas along the river. Just six months earlier, flooding had also occurred along the Fraser.
When people develop and settle floodplain areas, protection from flooding becomes a necessity. The traditional engineering approach to flood protection focuses on physical, technical, and economic challenges, but has not always adequately addressed social, cultural, and ecological constraints. The City selected nhc to lead a flood hazard and solutions study to better understand the complex river and ice behavior and to develop a flood protection plan.