- Planned power outage upcoming
- Home invasion leads to shooting
- Columbia Valley RCMP Report
- Strong winds cause problems in Kimberley
- Key City Theatre set to unpack The Suitcase Project
- Meet Lux: A Community Hero
- Kootenay Savings shares profits for 23rd year
- Fund established for injured miner
- Women Grow meeting at St. Eugene
- January in the East Kootenay
Board honours regional staff for efforts during disastersPosted: August 7, 2012
It’s been one hell of a spring and early summer in the East Kootenay – one lousy with natural disasters.
From flooding in Kimberley, to flooding at Dutch Creek, Wasa, Windermere and Tie lakes, to a severe flashflood/mud and landslide at Fairmont Hot Springs, to the July 20 wind storm that pounded the City of Cranbrook and area – Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) staff have been scrambling to stay ahead of Mother Nature and to ensure residents are as well protected as possible.
RDEK board chair, Electoral Area C director Rob Gay, officially thanked regional staff for their efforts in June and July, during the August 3 regular meeting of the board in Cranbrook.
“Often, organizations fail to recognize an opportunity to recognize success,” he said, thanking the regional staff, as well as the Ministry of Forests Fire Suppression crew that did yeoman work with sandbagging at Wasa and Tie Lake.
Gay also thanked the public who were impacted by the flooding and landslide “for their patience and understanding.”
RDEK Communications Manager Loree Duczek provided a slideshow presentation to board members, highlighting the most recent disasters.
Tie Lake came close to a major flood as “water neared the top of our dam,” she said, and Wasa was a thing of constant worry and focus as “water kept rising.”
However, the Fairmont slide was the unwanted cherry on top of a stress cake.
Along with accommodators in Invermere and Radium Hot Springs stepping up to house impacted vacationers and homeowners in Fairmont, a further 30 people were taken into private homes in Windermere, she told the board.
“That is an excellent example of what happens in times of crisis” in the region, she stated.
While clean-up work continued at Wasa and Fairmont, Mother Nature flew over Cranbrook July 20 with heaps of nasty intentions. In the end, an estimated 1,000 trees were knocked over or broken by the micro-burst-driven winds, onto houses, vehicles and more, leaving more than 15,000 homes without power.
Work continues at Fairmont, Duczek said. “Our focus now will shift to looking at a geo-technical assessment of the (Fairmont) Creek.”
The spate of emergencies amounted to 550 hours of RDEK staff time, not including all the other agencies involved in emergency response and clean-up.
“Over my years doing emergency response coordination, I’ve learned a few lessons – no two scenarios are the same,” Duczek said. “The need to communicate with the public has never been greater and consistency is a must. Above all else, you need respect,” she said, adding respect helped create “a unified team.”
Electoral Area F director Wendy Booth told e-KNOW she fielded a few complaints from residents who didn’t understand which agency was responsible for what following the landslide, but overall residents were respectful and understanding.
“I heard nothing but great comments” about responders, said Village of Canal Flats Mayor Ute Juras.
Gay praised Booth and Electoral Area E director Jane Walter for going “beyond the call of duty” during the emergencies. “The public you serve should be very thankful for your work,” he said.
Ian Cobb/e-KNOWTags: City of CranbrookEast Kootenayflooding at Dutch Creekflooding in KimberleyJane Walterlandslide at Fairmont Hot SpringsLoree DuczekRegional District of East KootenayRob GayTie LakeUte JurasWasaWendy BoothWindermere
Local clubs heading for KIJHL playoffs> Read More
Home invasion shooting investigation continues> Read More
Anti-domestic violence project funded> Read More
At the Library> Read More
Planned power outage upcoming> Read More
Columbia Valley RCMP Report> Read More
Coffee Fest returning to Invermere> Read More
Something for everyone at Winterfest 2016> Read More