Coal Creek is ‘significantly changed’ after a rainfall event between Nov.14-16, 2021. Pictured: The railway underpass beside Coal Creek between Pine Ave and Park Ave. (Image courtesy of City of Fernie)

Coal Creek is ‘significantly changed’ after a rainfall event between Nov.14-16, 2021. Pictured: The railway underpass beside Coal Creek between Pine Ave and Park Ave. (Image courtesy of City of Fernie)

70-90mm of rain expected over Wednesday in Elk Valley

A rainfall warning is in effect for the area

British Columbia is being drenched with yet another wave of torrential rain, with over a dozen rainfall warnings active across the province as of Wednesday (Dec. 1) morning.

In the Elk Valley, “a prolonged period of heavy rain” is expected to continue through Wednesday, with 70 to 90 mm of rain in the forecast according to the rainfall warning issued on Wednesday morning.

According to Environment Canada, the Morrissey area has received 50mm of rain already, while more is on the way before the rain is expected to ease later in the evening.

Environment Canada warned of increased risk of flooding in the area.

Both the City of Fernie and the District of Sparwood directed residents to sign up for the Regional Evacuation Alert System to stay up to speed on critical events. To sign up, click here. Information on the system can be found here.

The City of Fernie said Coal Creek was of particular concern given there was significant damage along its banks in the previous extreme rainfall event on Nov. 14-15.

“Coal Creek experienced erosion in several locations during the November 14th rainfall event, and as such, it is more susceptible to flooding.”

The city and the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) received $30,000 in emergency funding to help with local repairs and technical assessments of damage along Coal Creek, with assessments ongoing.

Residents are encouraged to keep away from washout areas and obey closure signage.

In Sparwood, the district set up a sandbag station “out of an abundance of caution” given the ongoing rainfall.

The station is at Engelmann Spruce Drive, past the Mainroad Yard and Fire Hall #1. Sandbags are provided, residents must bring their own shovels and gloves.

Self-serve sandbag stations are also set up in Fernie (at the corner of Railway Ave and Ridgemont Ave) and Hosmer, in the lot south of the Elk River Hostel/Pub.

More to come.

READ MORE: City urges caution, encourages locals to sign up for Regional Evacuation Alert System



scott.tibballs@thefreepress.ca
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