Rapid melt and snow runoff continue

Warm weather means lakes and rivers will have unpredictable ice conditions

Mainroad crews are working on water pooling in ditches.

Mainroad crews are working on water pooling in ditches.

The warm weather continues but with not much precipitation over the weekend, the flooding in parts of the Regional District of East Kootenay appears to be easing.

Kimberley itself experienced few problems.

“We have some residents requesting sandbags and reporting ponding on streets, and full crews are working overtime to mitigate flooding issues,” said City CAO Scott Sommerville on Friday. “Some streets are being windrowed to the centre to keep storm drains open. We are asking that residents not shovel snow on top of storm drains.”

Around the RDEK, there was some sloughing near Fort Steele Farms and overflowing ditches on the highway as well, says RDEK Information Officer Loree Duczek. There are signs posted on the highway warning of water.

The situation in Wasa remains of some concern.

“We still have significant pooling of water in and around the Wasa area that has not improved in the past two days. The main challenge for us is that with the area being so flat, there is nowhere for the excess water to go so we are not seeing things dry up as quickly as they are in other parts of the region,” Duczek said Saturday. “There has been some water flowing across a section of Wasa Lake Park Drive as snow melts from the up-hill side of the roadway. With the help of a resident, our Emergency Program personnel have diverted some of that runoff into a culvert that opened today. This has reduced the amount of water on the road, which remains open.”

A 20-person Unit Crew from the Wildfire Management Branch assisted with sandbagging efforts throughout the day Sunday, replenishing the supply of pre-filled bags at the gravel pit next to the City of Cranbrook Public Works yard on Cobham Avenue.  Those bags remain available for pick up by any RDEK or City resident who needs them.

Later in the day, some of the crew was diverted to the Elk Valley to begin filling sandbags.  Sand and sandbags are available at the Fernie Mainroad Contracting yard on Dicken Road and Shop Road. The Unit Crew worked until dark tonight and have 600 sandbags filled for City of Fernie or Area A residents to take as neeeded. They will be back on site first thing tomorrow morning to continue filling bags.  Residents wishing to pick up bags need to be prepared to load them into their vehicles as we do not have the resources to assist in this regard.

While there is water in basements, and pooling or running water in yards, so far no one in the RDEK has been displaced from their homes.

Sandbagging will continue tomorrow at the public pick up sites in Cranbrook and Fernie with the assistance of the Unit Crews.

The RDEK also warns that with high temperatures continuing and rain in the forecast ice conditions on lakes and creeks will be unpredictable.


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