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RDKB says rivers high but flooding depends on rain

Weekend weather forecast is for a possibility of thunderstorms before Tuesday.

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary said in a media release, that if rainfall predicted by Environment Canada exceeds the 10 to 30 millimetres forecast for the region the 2020 freshet could continue with even higher flows in rivers and tributaries

The RDKB said unsettled weather is forecast to bring possible thunderstorms before Tuesday, May 19 when Boundary rivers would be close to their seasonal peak.

“Rivers are expected to reach between a one and five year return based on current rain forecasts, which equates to an average to slightly above average freshet, but below 2017 levels that caused considerable low-elevation flooding, and well below 2018 levels that were catastrophic,” the RDKB said.

The RDKB continues to monitor all creeks and rivers and track BC River Forecast Centre model, will have emergency staff available through the long weekend and maintain its Emergency Operations Centre at a Level 2 for the next week in preparation for any emergency response that may be required.

The RDKB encourages residents to monitor low-lying areas for potential impacts from rising groundwater with some flooding as we move into the weekend.

The High Streamflow Advisory issued by BC River Forecast Centre on May 6 is still remains in effect for the Boundary Region including the Kettle River, West Kettle River, Granby River and tributaries.

Sandbags and sand are currently available for residents in the following locations free of charge:

  • • Beaverdell behind the Fire Hall
  • • Westbridge Hall
  • • Riverside Centre in Rock Creek
  • • Grand Forks Arena

Residents must bring their own tools and equipment (shovels, transportation) and respect a physical distance of two metres (six feet) between workers as they fill sandbags.

Residents in the West Boundary who are most at risk of flooding should stay informed about local freshet conditions, and ensure they have considered plans for moving valuable items, livestock or other items to safe locations if required. The RDKB also asks everyone to stay well away from the edges of creeks and rivers as banks become unstable during high water.

For more information about snow and river levels as well as how to prepare for the 2020 freshet, visit emergency.rdkb.com.

To register for the RDKB Emergency Alerting System go to https://ca.voyent-alert.com/vras/user-registration.html. The RDKB warns everyone to stay away from the edges of watercourses and report any erosion or flooding to the Provincial Emergency Coordination Centre at 1-800-663-3456.

 The RDKB will continue to update the public as new information is available.