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Posted: May 11, 2017

RDEK opens two more sandbagging stations

The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) has established two more self-fill sandbag stations and is encouraging area residents to be aware of the potential for rising or rapidly changing conditions in area waterways.

“We have just set up a self-fill sandbag station at the Hosmer Pub and at the Jaffray Community Centre. These are in addition to existing sandbag stations at Centennial Centre in Kimberley and at the City of Cranbrook Public Works Yard,” said RDEK Emergency Services Coordinator Travis Abbey.

While there is no new active flooding in the East Kootenay, water levels are running high in many channels and expected to rise.

The sandbag stations have sand and bags; however, residents need to bring their own shovels and gloves.  Sandbags should be filled three-quarters full with the ends folded over for best compaction and effectiveness when placing them.

“It is important that we all take steps to prepare ourselves and act early rather than later,” added Abbey. “Anyone who is along rivers or creeks or in low lying areas prone to flooding is encouraged to take steps to prepare themselves and their properties in the event the area experiences more widespread flooding.”

A number of East Kootenay homes and some properties have experienced early-season flooding since mid-March when the significant low-elevation snow melted and the ground became fully saturated. With the warming temperatures of spring and rain in the forecast, the attention now turns to the high elevation snowpack as we prepare for the spring runoff.

“The amount of snow in the snowpack is not as much of an issue as the rate at which it melts,” explained Abbey.  “If we get lots of intense rain or a hot-spell, there is certainly a possibility that we could experience flooding. As a result, we want all residents to be prepared and to take steps now to help prevent damage to their homes.”

Residents who see, or are experiencing, widespread flooding are encouraged to report it to the Provincial Emergency Control Centre at 1-800-663-3456. This is the fastest way to activate local emergency program personnel.


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