Environment Canada has issued a Heavy Rainfall Warning for the Elk Valley and Fernie.
An atmospheric river setting up over the B.C. South Coast today will bring heavy rain over parts of Kootenay District.
Heavy rain over highway 3 – Paulson Summit to Kootenay Pass to the Elk Valley and Fernie will begin early this evening. Rain will continue through Thursday morning as a frontal system stalls over the region.
Rainfall amounts of 75 to 100 mm Tonight through Thursday morning. Rising freezing levels and melting snow may increase river flows and give rise to localized flooding.
Heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads. Localized flooding in low-lying areas is possible. Watch for possible washouts near rivers, creeks and culverts.
Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to BCstorm@ec.gc.ca or tweet reports using #BCStorm.
The RDEK andthe City of Fernie are setting up sandbag stations for your use.
in Hosmer and urging residents across the East Kootenay to be aware and prepared.
“With the snow we’ve received over the past few days, the forecasted accumulation of rain this week and rising temperatures, there is an elevated risk of localized overland flooding,” says RDEK Protective Services Manager, Christina Carbrey. “We encourage people to stay clear of creek banks and rivers and urge anyone who lives in a flood-prone area to take steps to protect their homes and properties.”
A self-fill sandbag stations are being set up and is expected to be operational this afternoon at:
• Elk River Inn in Hosmer – Hwy 3 at 6th Avenue (in the lot south of the pub)
• Next to the City’s Operations Yard on Railway Ave.
The sandbag station will have sand and bags; however, residents need to bring their own shovels and gloves. Additional sandbag stations will be set up as conditions warrant.
The BC River Forecast Centre has issued a High-Streamflow Advisory for the East Kootenay for all lower elevation and valley bottom tributaries. Residents are encouraged to be proactive in making personal preparations in the event of flooding. “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 water levels are possible,” adds Carbrey.
The RDEK’s Flood Response Unit will also be in communication with municipalities in the region, particularly in the Elk Valley where the rainfall is anticipated to be heaviest, to ensure regional cooperation and situational awareness.
Residents who have not already done so are encouraged 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.