From Champion Lakes to Big White, staff at the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) are tracking river and creek levels daily as snowmelt accelerates with warmer weather and rain.
“Most people in our region can see that water levels in our creeks, streams and rivers are rising,” said Mark Stephens, RDKB emergency operations director.
“As this happens, erosion is possible and the riverbank can change rapidly,” he advised. “People need to stay back from the banks of fast moving water for their own safety.”
Stephens said that RDKB staff measure water levels in Trail and Boundary creeks daily, as well as the Kettle and Granby river systems.
All available data from river level sites, snowpack sites and weather stations within the Kettle and Granby watersheds in B.C. and Washington State are monitored daily.
What staff have seen to date matches weekly data from the BC River Forecast Centre.
“We are watching the weather and snowmelt for the Kettle closely,” Stephens noted. “We have definitely seen that transition into the melt season with mid-elevation and even high-elevation snow starting to come down. The West Kettle is currently at a one year return level and is forecasted to rise and fall throughout the next few days.”
The regional snowpack is currently at 122 per cent of normal.
The RDKB warns everyone to stay away from the edges of watercourses and report any major erosion or flooding to the Provincial Emergency Coordination Centre at 1-800-663-3456.
Stephens added that the regional district has a stockpile of 250,000 sandbags, and will inform the public of local sand pickup sites if flood forecasts show a probability of localized flooding.
Neither the RDKB nor the Province of BC will pay for sand ordered and delivered privately to any property in the region.
For more information about snow and river levels as well as how to prepare for spring run-off, visit the regional district website, rdkb.com, and click the freshet conditions link.