Water levels still rising at Wasa
More sandbags on the way
More sandbags and sand will be delivered to the Wasa Community Hall the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) reported at 4:30 p.m., June 27, as water levels continue to rise in the Wasa Lake area.
“We have already deployed 5,500 sandbags since last night,” said RDEK Information Officer, Loree Duczek. “We have an additional 2,000 sandbags and a load of sand being delivered this evening for people to self-fill.”
Although the region is getting a break from the heavy rains of the past few days, water levels are expected to continue to rise. “We are expecting the water levels in the Wasa area to continue to rise moderately over the next day or two if the current weather patterns hold,” adds Duczek.
The lake is up another two inches since this morning and the weather forecast is calling for drier conditions over the next few days. Highway 93/95 and all but one secondary road remain open and dry.
The water rose by one inch an hour the day before – pushing the Kootenay River beyond its banks in the Wasa and Bummer Flats areas. The hydrological dam from the force of the river is causing back up into Wasa Lake.
Perhaps luckily for the three or more property owners at the south end of the lake whose properties have been flooded, a strong wind powered from the south, pushing a surge of water at the north shore of the lake during the afternoon.
There are a number of lakefront properties being affected by the rising waters and the sandbags are available to anyone in the community who could be affected by the rising waters. A 10 person BC Forest Service Fire Suppression crew worked last night and another 15 person crew worked today to assist in sandbagging efforts.
As one sandbagger said at a busy Wasa Community Hall earlier today, the fire fighters are sandbagging because their services aren’t needed “yet.”
Property owners facing a sudden rising of waters, of the like not seen in many years, availed themselves to the sandbags. Pickup trucks came and went from the community hall as the red-shirted forestry workers methodically filled, tied and stacked sand bags. Some volunteers, including a local teenaged lad, helped out.
Property owners and residents are asked to remain vigilant with the rising water levels and be as prepared as possible.
“From sandbagging to moving valuables and other belongings out of flood prone areas, now is the time to take steps to prepare if your property could be affected by rising waters,” said Duczek.
The RDEK and Ministry of Environment are continuing to monitor water levels in Wasa and other parts of the East Kootenay region.
Please see our accompanying photo essay with images taken this afternoon, June 27.