The RDCK is urging residents to be aware that recent rainfall throughout the Kootenays may cause creek and river levels to rise, which can lead to debris flows. Debris flows are fast-moving mixtures of water, sediment, boulders and logs that flow down steep mountain creeks.
Creeks in the Kootenays often flow dirty after a major rainstorm. Dirty or turbid water doesn’t necessarily indicate that a debris flow hazard exists. However, abnormally dirty water may signal that a landslide or bank failure has occurred upstream. Pulses of sediment in a creek channel may also indicate that something unusual has occurred upstream. Also, a large volume of debris (logs, sediment etc.) accumulating in a creek channel or at the mouth of the creek may indicate that a natural hazard event has occurred in the watershed.
If you observe abnormally dirty water, pulses of sediment, or a large volume of debris, call the provincial emergency number at 1 800 663-3456 to report your observations. For more information on debris flows please refer to the brochure located on the RDCK website here.
Use caution while spending time in a confined creek channel or gully that is prone to debris flows and exercise caution around all fast moving water.
Residents are responsible for having an emergency plan as well as the tools and items necessary to protect their homes and properties. Empty sandbags may be available at local fire departments. Call the fire department non-emergency number to arrange for pick up.