RDEK deserves an award for flood response, board says

The emergency response to the East Kootenay's June flooding event has been submitted for the 2013 UBCM Community Excellence Awards.

The emergency response to the East Kootenay’s June flooding event has been submitted for consideration in the 2013 Union of B.C. Municipalities Community Excellence Awards.

The Regional District of East Kootenay sprung to action June 20 when heavy rainfall caused creeks, rivers and lakes all over the region to rise at alarming rates.

By June 25, a state of emergency was declared in all four subregions of the East Kootenay, an unprecedented response by the emergency program.

At the July 5 board meeting, regional district directors agreed to nominate its emergency program’s response to the flood event for the award.

According to UBCM, its community excellence awards program “is an opportunity to showcase municipalities and regional districts who “lead the pack”, take risks to innovate, establish new partnerships, question established ways of doing business and pioneer new customer service practices.

At the board meeting, the directors were full of gratitude for the hard work and long hours that regional district staff put in during the days of the flood. Many of the directors reserved special thanks for information officer Loree Duczek, who put out daily updates on the flood situation around the region while also responding to flood issues on the spot.

“It’s a well oiled machine and it works very well. I was honoured and proud to have them on my side. Loree is like a mother hen – there are no gaps, she chases those chickens around pretty good,” said Area A Director Mike Sosnowski.

“I’m sure Loree must be a triplet,” said Elkford director Dean McKerracher.

“Loree was quite impressive with her ability to inform me quickly and often and in the middle of the night sometimes. I really don’t know how she sleeps,” added Area F Director Wendy Booth.

Area E Director Jane Walter congratulated the entire staff for their response.

“I would like to thank the staff for (their work) during the second season of flooding in Wasa. They have continued to show such great understanding and compassion to all of the people of Wasa and the area,” she said.

Board chair Rob Gay said the regional district will now begin to examine what can be done differently in future emergency operations.

“Debriefing is ongoing and recommendations regarding the use of human resources will come to the board this fall. There are some ideas that (Chief Administrative Officer) Lee-Ann (Crane) has been sharing with me and I think the board will be interested in hearing that. A lot of this is on the back of one or two people and you can’t go to war like that, you need to spread your resources out,” he said.

“We just can’t say, well, the water has gone down, and walk away from it. There are things that need to be done and many of them are going to cost lots of dollars and probably will change our priorities as we move forward.”

In April, the board heard the results of a report it commissioned on flood hazards in the region by Vancouver applied earth sciences company BGC Engineering.

The report found that $2.4 billion worth of buildings in the East Kootenay lie in flood hazard areas.

Most of the flood hazard areas are outside of municipalities, the study found. Area A – around Fernie and Sparwood – has the highest priority rating; followed by Area F – between Canal Flats and Invermere; then Area C – around Cranbrook; Area E – Wasa and Skookumchuck; Area G – north of Radium; and finally Area B – around Koocanusa.

Within municipalities, Fernie has the highest rating, followed by Elkford and Canal Flats, then Invermere, Radium Hot Springs, and finally Cranbrook, Kimberley and Sparwood.

The flood hazard study was prepared using existing data as the first step towards a comprehensive regional flood management plan.

The RDEK board of directors have not yet approved funding for the next steps of the plan.

Just Posted

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

1914
It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

Prince Charles Secondary School
School District 8 votes in favour of name change for Secondary School in Creston

In an act of reconciliation, a new name will be chosen for Prince Charles Secondary School

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. Photo courtesy Conservative Party of Canada.
MP Morrison appointed to parliamentary national security committee

Kootenay-Columbia parliamentarian one of five candidates appointed to national security committee

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

Most Read