On the heels of another warm week followed by a thunderstorm system, the BC River Forecast Centre has upgraded its High Streamflow Advisory to a Flood Watch for the Kootenays.
While the biggest impact is expected in the Kootenay Boundary and West Kootenay, RDEK staff are continuing to monitor local conditions and are prepared to respond in the event we experience wide-scale flooding.
“We are seeing an expected rise in local streams and tributaries as the mid and higher elevation snow melts and are urging residents who are in flood-prone locations to be proactive in protecting their properties,” says Protective Services Supervisor Terry Balan.
Self-fill sandbag stations have been set up at the City of Cranbrook Public Works Yard on Cobham Avenue, Centennial Hall in Kimberley, Moyie Pumphouse on Tavistock Street, and Hosmer pub. Additional sandbag stations are in the process of being established at the Windermere Fire Hall and Mountainside Golf Course (behind the big barn) in Fairmont. The stations have sand and sandbags, but people need to bring their own shovels and gloves. Empty sandbags are available in other areas of the region by contacting the RDEK and additional stations will be set up as the need arises.
“Our snow levels remain above normal. The higher-than-seasonal temperatures we are experiencing and concentrated rain events can certainly increase the potential for localized flooding. Right now, we are holding our own and we remain ready to respond if required,” adds Balan.
Although water levels have risen in creeks, streams and rivers across the East Kootenay, there is currently no wide-spread flooding. The forecast for the next 24-48 hours is calling for the potential for localized thundershowers producing several millimeters of rain in a very short period.
To report wide-scale flooding, call 1-800-663-3456.
The RDEK has distributed flood preparedness information, and has posted it on the RDEK website: www.rdek.bc.ca.