Trail Creek during 2019 freshet. (Trail Times file photo)

West Kootenay residents advised to prepare for freshet

West Kootenay snowpack is at 121% of normal, Boundary snowpack is at 134% of normal

To prepare for whatever freshet scenario occurs in the coming months, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) has activated its Emergency Operations Centre to a Level 1.

That means two staff are monitoring the snowpack and freshet and planning for a possible flood event.

“Though the snowpack is high right now in the Boundary, there are two and half months before our usual freshet is at its peak,” advised Mark Stephens, interim manager of RDKB emergency programs.

“If we see typical spring weather with warmer days and cooler nights continue, that snowpack has plenty of time to melt at a normal, steady rate. However, long-range forecasting is unpredictable so the only sound approach is to prepare.”

Read historical feature of Trail flooding here: Trail Stricken By Flood, 50 years later

The RDKB has completed a comprehensive flood response plan and RDKB staff are working with partner agencies to hold readiness meetings and to review plans.

“We will keep working with our partners at Emergency Management BC and the BC River Forecast Centre to make sure we have the most up to date information to inform our decisions,” said Stephens.

The RDKB emergency program monitors snowpack, river levels and weather forecasts daily and meets regularly with provincial staff at the BC River Forecast Centre and at Emergency Management BC.

Emergency officials play a key role in educating residents to prepare themselves for any emergencies that could occur in the region.

Before the 2020 freshet, the Emergency Program encourages residents to do four things:

1. Ensure that drains, culverts and other means of moving water away from residences remain clear as the snow continues to melt.

2. Sign up to receive emergency evacuation alerts on a landline, mobile device or by email at emergency.rdkb.com or contact the RDKB directly at 1-800-355-7352 to get help signing up.

3. Prepare by developing a household emergency plan, putting together a grab-and-go bag and connecting with neighbours. Emergencies teach us that knowing neighbours and developing a neighbourhood emergency plan can dramatically change how we fare in an emergency and how we recover afterwards.

4. For those with river and lake front property that have experienced flooding in the past this is a good time to start planning flood protection for your household.

Regional snowpacks are only just starting to melt at lower elevations and snow could continue to accumulate at higher elevations even after spring officially arrives March 19.

The snow basin index is only one indication of flood risk.

Shorter-term temperature variations and precipitation events can dramatically affect how the snow melts and runs off each spring.

The RDKB advisory comes on the heels of the BC River Forecast Centre recent release of the latest Snow Survey and Water Supply Bulletin. Both show higher than normal levels for the West Kootenay and the Boundary snowpacks.

The West Kootenay snowpack is at 121 per cent of normal, a decrease of five per cent since last reported.

The Boundary snowpack is at 134 per cent of normal, which is a six per cent increase since the last bulletin issued on Feb. 1.



newsroom@trailtimes.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

flood watchKootenay Boundary Regional Hospital

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Interior Health will not expand Police and Crisis Team

Southeast Division Chief Superintendent Brad Haugli asked IH to expand the program

Rosslanders celebrate Canada Day in style

Locals organized a museum scavenger hunt, a Mt. Roberts flag-raising ceremony and evening fireworks

Hwy 1 flooding causes massive delays on certain Arrow Lakes ferry routes

Motorists have been waiting around three hours to get on ferries

Rossland Museum and Discovery Centre expands operations online

The facility also opened back up to the public earlier in June

Rossland’s Sourdough Alley a ‘muddy collection of shacks’

Rossland’s earliest thoroughfare was once derided as a ‘muddy collection of shacks’

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

White-throated sparrows have changed their tune, B.C. study unveils

Study marks an unprecedented development scientists say has caused them to sit up and take note

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

Most Read