Montane Parkway in Fernie has been closed due to localised flooding. (Scott TIbballs / The Free Press)

Montane Parkway in Fernie has been closed due to localised flooding. (Scott TIbballs / The Free Press)

Flooding, detours and an evacuation: Elk Valley drenched by torrential rain

Roads have been closed and neighbourhoods around Fernie and in the RDEK have seen localised flooding

A rainfall warning will remain in effect for the Elk Valley into Monday evening, after torrential weather brought localised flooding to neighbourhoods of Fernie and closed roads in the valley on Sunday.

As of Monday morning, the City of Fernie reported that Coal Creek Rd, Montane Parkway (pictured) and Cokato Rd are closed due to localised flooding, while to the east of Fernie, DriveBC reports that Hartley Creek has flooded and caused Highway 3 traffic to be detoured via Dicken Rd.

Travel via Highway 3 is being discouraged by DriveBC as of Monday morning, with the government website issuing a travel advisory for the Elko to Sparwood stretch due to extreme heavy rains and localised flooding.

Mainroad East Kootenay asked locals to follow all traffic signage and respect traffic control personnel while they carried out clean-up works on the highway.

Any locals with observations of flooding and road concerns can reach Mainroad’s 24-hour communications and dispatch office at 1-800-665-4929.

The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) said in a release of Monday morning that district road crews were assessing damage to infrastructure after Cokato Creek overflowed its banks, and reported on an evacuation.

“Water and debris have gone across the roadway starting in the 4500 block of Cokato, leading to waist deep water on some properties this morning,” said RDEK Information Officer Loree Duczek.

“Water is still flowing over the road and the road remains closed at this time.”

According to the RDEK, one resident has been evacuated after egress from their property was cut off by flood water. Fernie Search and Rescue members have gone door to door in the Cokato Road area up to Thompson Road and there are currently no other residents requiring assistance.

“Further updates will be provided as more information becomes available. Anyone being affected by flooding should call the Provincial Emergency Coordination Centre at 1-800-663-3456 as this is the fastest way to engage local emergency officials,” said Duczek.

The Regional Emergency Operations Centre has been activated in support of the City of Fernie and Electoral Area A.

According to Environment Canada, an ‘atmospheric river’ will continue to bring heavy rain into the region, “with an additional 40mm expected by this evening.”

They also reported that the rain will become snow later in the evening due to cooler air on the way.

Flooding continues to impact most of Southern BC, with major highway connections cut between the Lower Mainland and the interior.

READ MORE: British Columbians warned to brace for further torrential rain, flooding through Monday



scott.tibballs@thefreepress.ca
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B.C. Floods 2021Severe weather