Wet weather reminds Kootenay residents to be prepared for flooding

Impressive snowpacks of the Kootenay's can cause considerable damage.

Floodwaters of a small creek near Chase

Floodwaters of a small creek near Chase

With the spring freshet season arriving, there is no better time to remind residents of the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) about the possibility of flooding.

The impressive snowpacks of the Kootenay’s provide a lot of fuel, in the form of runoff, and can cause considerable damage without proper monitoring and planning.

One of six Emergency Management BC regional offices is located in Nelson, and so the areas around Castlegar are also well served to avoid such problems.

The spring flooding season generally ranges from April through July and a number of provincial agencies and local volunteers monitor streams and rivers in the region.

A press release from the RDCK said, “Residents are responsible for having a plan, as well as the tools and equipment necessary to protect their homes and properties (sand bagging, for example).”

During a flooding emergency, local radio stations will broadcast information on where sand bag locations are and any current evacuation alerts or orders.

Of course, decisions such as evacuation alerts and evacuation orders are the responsibility of the RDCK, but it is best for citizens to know where they can access help and information.

Dirty or muddy water should be reported to the 24/7 Provincial Emergency Reporting Number: 1-800-663-3456.

The RDCK Emergency Coordinator for Area “H, “I, “J” and “K” (Nakusp / Slocan) is Terry Warren who can be reached at 250-265-1920.

In addition, the website www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca has more information about flood preparedness, sand bags, creating personal emergency kits and current river flow levels.

Kootenay Lake water levels can be seen at www.fortisbc..ca.

The RDCK will issue flooding and freshet bulletins, as available, at www.rdck.bc.ca.