As rain continues to soak the southern interior of B.C., the Regional District of East Kootenay is warning residents to be mindful of rising water levels, particularly with creeks and tributaries.
The B.C.’s River Forecast Centre is maintaining a high streamflow advisory for much of the southeast interior, including the Kootenay and Boundary region, that was originally issued on Monday (April 10). That advisory has also been expanded to the Okanagan and Similkameen areas.
Approximately 13.4 millimetres of rain fell in Cranbrook on Monday and more is potentially on the way, according to data from Environment Canada.
Local waterways are likely going to feel the impacts of the weather system for a few more days, says an RDEK spokesperson.
“We encourage people to stay clear of creek banks and rivers this week as rapid, unpredictable changes in waterways are possible,” said Loree Duczek, RDEK Communications Manager.
The high streamflow advisory singled out Fernie in the Elk Valley of the East Kootenay, tributaries int Arrow Lakes, Slocan Lake and Kootenay Lake in the West Kootenay, and Grand Forks in the Boundary region.
The RDEK’s Flood Response Unit is monitoring local conditions, including Mine Creek in Hosmer, which has been rising in the past 24 hours and has flooded in years past.
A self-fill sandbag station is being set up at the Hosmer Community Hall, and should be up and running by Wednesday (April 12). It will have sand and bags, however, individuals will have to bring their own shovels and gloves.
“Given the current conditions, we are encouraging anyone who lives in an area prone to seasonal flooding to take steps to protect their properties,” said Duczek. “Although we have not yet entered our spring freshet, the current combination of rain and warming temperatures will lead to an elevated potential for flooding over the coming days.”