A special weather statement issued early Thursday by Environment Canada is forecasting showers and thunderstorms later today, with 15 to 25mm of rain possible.
The City of Cranbrook will have staff monitoring this situation right through the night and the weekend. Steps are being taken in order to deploy sandbags and mobilize staff quickly to some of the lowest lying areas of the City, where any flooding is potentially likely to occur first.
Homeowners who may be concerned of potential flooding around their homes or property, the City has sand and bags available in the lot beside the Public Works yard on Cobham Avenue. You will need to fill sandbags on your own and must bring your own shovel.
The City will provide updates and additional information as needed if conditions change over the next few days. The safety of the public remains one of the most important goals of the City, which is why residents are urged to stay away from our local creeks and lakes. You are also strongly urged to teach your kids about the possible dangers of fast flowing water.
The City of Cranbrook continues to work with the RDEK Flood Response team to prepare for and manage the increased flood risk. The City is also working toward solutions in order minimize or prevent this type of flooding in these areas in the long term.
RDEK sets up additional sandbagging stations
The RDEK has established two more self-fill sandbag stations and is encouraging area residents to be aware of the potential for rising or rapidly changing conditions in area waterways.
“We have just set up a self-fill sandbag station at the Jaffray Community Hall and at the Hosmer Pub. These are in addition to the sandbag stations at Centennial Centre in Kimberley and at the City of Cranbrook Public Works Yard,” says RDEK Emergency Services Coordinator Travis Abbey. While there is no new active flooding in the East Kootenay, water levels are running high in many channels and expected to rise.
The sandbag stations have sand and bags; however, residents need to bring their own shovels and gloves. Sandbags should be filled three-quarters full with the ends folded over for best compaction and effectiveness when placing them.
“It is important that we all take steps to prepare ourselves and act early rather than later,” adds Abbey. “Anyone who is along rivers or creeks or in low lying areas prone to flooding is encouraged to take steps to prepare themselves and their properties in the event the area experiences more widespread flooding.”
A number of East Kootenay homes and some properties have experienced early-season flooding since mid-March when the significant low-elevation snow melted and the ground became fully saturated. With the warming temperatures of spring and rain in the forecast, the attention now turns to the high elevation snowpack as we prepare for the spring runoff.
“The amount of snow in the snowpack is not as much of an issue as the rate at which it melts,” explains Abbey. “If we get lots of intense rain or a hot-spell, there is certainly a possibility that we could experience flooding. As a result, we want all residents to be prepared and to take steps now to help prevent damage to their homes.”
Residents who see, or are experiencing, widespread flooding are encouraged to report it to the Provincial Emergency Control Centre at 1-800-663-3456. This is the fastest way to activate local emergency program personnel.