While the snow melt is mostly complete in valley bottoms, there is still a significant amount of snow in the high country. But warmer temperatures are in the forecast, says the RDEK, and the spring freshet will be underway in earnest very soon.
In preparation for the run-off, the Regional District of East Kootenay has set up two self-fill sandbag stations.
The sandbag stations have sand and bags; however, residents need to bring their own shovels and gloves. Additional sandbag stations will be set up as conditions warrant.
Self-fill sandbag stations have been set up at:
• Old Barn – Mountainside Golf Course – Fairmont Hot Springs Road
• Elk River Inn in Hosmer – Hwy 3 at 6th Avenue (in the lot south of the pub)
“The cool temperatures we’ve had through May mean the spring melt has been somewhat delayed and we are expecting to see water levels rise in the coming weeks,” says Information Officer, Loree Duczek. “We encourage people to stay clear of creek banks and rivers during spring run-off and urge anyone who lives in an area prone to seasonal flooding to take steps to protect their properties.”
They also remind residents to be cautious around all waterways, which will be moving quickly in the coming days. With water levels expected to rise, the RDEK is also urging residents to take steps now to prepare in the event of flooding, particularly if they are in flood-prone areas.
“This time of year, preparedness and safety are key. Know the numbers to call, have a family emergency plan, take steps to protect your property from flooding if you are in low-lying areas, and ensure you stay well back from waterways as rapid, unpredictable changes in waterways are possible,” adds Duczek.
The RDEK distributed its seasonal flooding preparedness newsletter to all rural homes and properties in the region a few weeks ago and it is posted on the Flood Preparedness page on www.rdek.bc.ca along with a host of other links and resources.
The RDEK continues to urge residents to sign up for the regional Evacuation Notification System, which notifies registrants by landline, mobile phone or text in the event their property or marked location is within an evacuation alert or order area. Registration instructions and more information are available on the Emergency Information page on www.rdek.bc.ca.