The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) has set up self-fill sandbag stations after several days of warm weather, the forecasted thunderstorms and anticipated arrival of spring freshet.
The RDEK asks residents to be cautious around all waterways and encourages those who live in flood-prone areas to be prepared in the event that the region does experience localized flooding.
The stations will have sand and bags, but residents are required to come with their own shovels and gloves.
The self-fill sandbag stations have so far been set up behind the old bar at Mountainside Golf Course on Hot Springs Road in Fairmont, at the Windermere Fire Hall at 1635 Hwy 93/95 and at the Elk River Inn in Hosmer, located on Hwy 3 at 6 Ave., in the lot south of the pub.
Additional stations will be set up as conditions dictate.
The BC River Forecast Centre has issued a Flood Watch for the East Kootenay as river levels are expected to rise given current conditions.
“This time of year, preparedness and safety are key,” said RDEK information officer Loree Duczek. “Know the numbers to call, have a family emergency plan, plan ahead to protect your property from flooding if you are in low-lying areas, and ensure you stay well back from waterways as rapid, unpredictable changes in waterways are possible.”
The RDEK is also in the process of distributing their seasonal flooding preparedness newsletter to all rural mailboxes around the region, plus you can find it now at rdek.bc.ca on the Personal Preparedness page.
They also urge visitors to sign up for their Evacuation Notification system, which will be tested on Friday, May 5 at 11 a.m.
This system notifies residents by landline or mobile phone in the event that their property or marked location is within an evacuation alert or order area. Information on how to register can also be found at rdek.bc.ca
Information about preparing for emergencies, building emergency kits or creating family emergency plans can be found at preparedBC.ca