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)

City secures $30k in emergency funding for remedial work at Coal Creek

Coal Creek is ‘significantly changed’ due to erosion due to the rain on Nov. 14-16

The City of Fernie has secured $30,000 in emergency funding for remedial work needed in the Coal Creek area, following the rain event on November 14-15 that flooded parts of the province.

Significant erosion took place along Coal Creek during the storm, with sections of roadway further upstream, and recreational trails in Fernie wiped out.

“We have ongoing concerns regarding Coal Creek,” said Fernie’s Chief Administrative Office, Michael Boronowski.

“As we shift into recovery (city staff) are undertaking geotechnical and hydrological assessments with qualified professionals.

“The Dike system has done its job as intended, there is damage and repair work to do but the full scope won’t be known until the technical assessments are complete,” he said.

While there were repairs to be done around the city, Boronowski said Coal Creek was the focus due to erosion there.

“Coal Creek has seriously undermined some slopes (and) there are issues. There’s a lot of rocks that have moved down and through Coal Creek. It’s significantly a changed creek.”

The city secured the $30,000 through the province’s emergency funding for the remedial works, which will include professional assessments by technicians, designs and more.

These works were ongoing and would continue on for quite some time, according to Boronowski. In the meantime, residents were encouraged to stay away from Coal Creek and areas affected by erosion.

Boronowski said city staff were still in the process of actively checking all systems around the city to prepare for the next storm (as of writing on Nov. 25, a further precipitation is forecast across southern B.C. and a winter storm was forecast for the Kootenay East Region).

He said that anyone affected by flooding should get their claims in as the province had authorized disaster financial assistance.

Additionally, the RDEK has set up a damage assessment report for property owners so that the district can get a better idea of damage around the region. Details can be found on the RDEK website.

READ MORE: Mixed fortunes for Fernie multi-use trails
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