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Flood Watch for Slocan River; Evacuation Alert for Slocan Valley West Road

The BC River Forecast Centre is forecasting the Slocan River to reach a 50-year high Friday. The Nelson Daily photo

The rising flows of the Slocan River has forced the Regional District of Central Kootenay to issue an Evacuation Alert Tuesday for residents and visitors of Slocan Valley West Road.

The BC River Forecast Centre issued a flood watch for the Slocan River, with a once in 50-year level expected on Friday.

“At this time residents or visitors within the area are not required to evacuate,” the RDCK media release said Tuesday.

"However, the Regional District of Central Kootenay are advising people to remain vigilant and be prepared to leave the area at short notice.

“This alert may be followed by an immediate Evacuation Order should conditions worsen.”

The BC River Forecast Centre said the Slocan River near Crescent Valley is currently flowing at approximately 520 m3/s and is expected to rise up to 747 m3/s by Friday.

“Depending on the amount of precipitation the region receives, river levels may increase or decrease to forecast levels,” the RDCK release said.

Following a week of high temperatures, which has released a lot of the snowpack from the mountains, Environment Canada is forecasting showers and a risk of a thunderstorm for the West Kootenay for Wednesday and into the evening.

Rain is to continue through Thursday and into Friday.

Meanwhile, FortisBC is advising local residents that Kootenay Lake levels are expected to increase to 1752 ft. at Queen's Bay by Saturday (June 3).

“Depending on weather conditions and natural inflows, Kootenay Lake may reach 1753 ft. later in June,” the FortisBC website said.

“Please be advised that during this time, lake levels are predominately driven by natural inflows as a result of melting snow pack and precipitation, and the natural outflow constriction at Grohman narrows.”

FortisBC said in order to help mitigate peak lake levels, dams on the Kootenay River system have been at the maximum discharge since early March and will continue to do so until after the lake peaks.

Sand and sandbags are available at the following locations:

  • Beasley — Beasley Fire Hall with sand available at RDCK 202 Lakeside Drive
  • Blewett — Blewett Fire Hall with sand available at RDCK 202 Lakeside Drive
  • Crescent Valley — bags and sand at Crescent Valley Fire Hall
  • Harrop/Proctor — Harrop Fire Hall bags and sand at Harrop Fire Hall
  • Kaslo — bags and sand Kaslo Public Works
  • North Shore — North Shore Fire Hall, with sand at North Shore Fire Hall and Dvorjetz Road
  • Nelson — RDCK with sand available at RDCK 202 Lakeside
  • Passmore — Passmore Fire Hall with sand at Passmore Fire Hall
  • Salmo — Ymir Fire Dept and Village of Salmo
  • Winlaw — Winlaw Fire Hall with sand at Winlaw Fire Hall
  • Ymir — Ymir Fire Hall with sand at 124 Lagoon Rd, Salmo
  • Riondel — Riondel Fire Hall with sands at Riondel Fire Hall

Residents requiring sandbags can contact the Emergency Program Coordinator in their area:

  • Nelson / Kaslo & Areas D, E, F, I, J   250-352-8177
  • Nakusp / Slocan & Areas H, K   250-265-0230
  • Creston & Areas A, B, C / Salmo & Area G  250-428-0299

The RDCK is asking residents to report flooding or landslide, by calling 24/7 Provincial Emergency Reporting Number at 1-800-663-3456.