The RDEK has issued a State of Local Emergency in Fairmont following localized flooding from heavy rainfall on Sunday, May 31. Photo courtesy RDEK.

Homes evacuated in Fairmont due to localized flooding from heavy rainfall

RDEK has issued a state of local emergency, RCMP going door to door in affected areas

The Regional District of East Kootenay has issued a State of Local Emergency in Fairmont following localized flooding due to heavy rainfall over the weekend.

A small number of homes on Fairmont Creek are being evacuated, as the rain volume is increasing the risk of a debris flow event, according to the RDEK.

RCMP are going door-to-door for tactical evacuations in localized areas along Fairmont Creek south of Mable Canyon. A reception centre has been set up at the Kanata Inn in Windermere for residents in the evacuation zone.

“Our primary concern is the safety of residents. The heavy rainfall has resulted in flooding and debris on both Fairmont Creek and Cold Spring Creek and we are asking everyone to stay away from the creek banks and avoid any roads that are compromised by flood water,” said Information Officer Loree Duczek.

The RDEK’s Fairmont rain gauge recorded 10 millimetres of rain in an hour and 18 millimetres of rain over the span of six hours Sunday morning. Regional District staff and Mainroad East Kootenay Contracting are on site at affected areas to assess the flooding impacts on roads and infrastructure.

Given the volume of rainfall, the RDEK is encouraging residents living near waterways to take steps to protect their properties. Sandbagging stations are available at:

• Cranbrook Public Works Yard – Cobham Avenue

• Old Barn – Mountainside Golf Course – Fairmont Hot Springs Road

• Windermere Fire Hall parking lot – Highway 93/95

• RDEK Pump House in Moyie – 9289 Tavistock Street

• Centennial Hall in Kimberley – 100 4th Ave, Kimberley

• Fernie Public Works Yard – 1492 Railway Avenue

Moyie River upgraded to flood watch

Moyie River and the surrounding tributary systems have been designated a flood watch by the B.C. River Forecast Centre on Sunday afternoon due to the weekend rainstorms.

The Moyie River area was upgraded from a high streamflow warning to a flood watch, while the provincial agency is also modelling higher streamflows at Bull River, near Wardner, and the Kootenay River, near Fort Steele, by Monday.

The Boundary region, including the Kettle River, West Kettle River and Granby River, are also under flood watches.

In the West Kootenays, the Slocan River and Salmo River, are under a flood warning, and the Regional District of Central Kootenay has issued a few evacuation orders.

READ: B.C.’s Central Kootenay region declares state of emergency, issues evacuation orders

Rainfall across the Kootenay region over the weekend has been estimated between 10-50 millimetres, which is causing river systems to rise rapidly, according to the River Forecast Centre.

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