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Posted: June 2, 2020

City of Fernie closes high water areas

Water levels are currently at seasonal highs for the Elk River and Coal Creek.

To ensure public safety, the City of Fernie has closed the following areas that are impacted by high water levels:

  • James White Park (closed completely to all vehicle and pedestrian traffic);
  • Lower road to Dogwood Park (3rd St. from 4A Ave. to 6 Ave.);
  • Sections of the Town Loop Trail including: Park Ave. Bridge to James White Park; Underpass trail under West Fernie Bridge on North Side of Elk River; Trail along Elk River north of Maiden Lake towards Golf Course remains open, with localized area of erosion signed and fenced.

A log jam that was impacting the flow on Coal Creek has been cleared. This has enabled us to re-open the Montane Trailhead Parking Lot and the following sections of the Town Loop Trail: Park Ave. Bridge to Cokato Rd. and Dogwood Park Boat Launch to Park Ave. Bridge.

Signage and barricades have been set up to mark closures. For your own safety, please ensure you are respecting all signage and closures.

City of Fernie staff continue daily monitoring, which includes visual checks at low-lying areas and measurements at set annual freshet monitoring locations.

Each spring during freshet, a City of Fernie Flood Response Committee is formed to ensure that the appropriate monitoring and measuring is occurring and the tools are in place to activate our Flood Response Plan to quickly and effectively respond to any flood situations.

The city’s Flood Response Plan guides the response to rising water levels and ensures that the necessary precautions are in place at each level.

Water levels on the Elk River are nearing 3.5 metres, and the committee is implementing the required precautions including closures in at risk areas, ensuring that we have staff scheduled for around the clock monitoring, and the requisite number of sandbags filled and ready to deploy if necessary.

Get Prepared

Now is a good time to refresh on what you can do to be prepared in the event of a flood.

It’s important to ensure that you are flood ready, and have a grab and go bag packed in case you are required to leave your home.

BC Government Flood Preparedness Information

If you haven’t already, sign up to Regional District of East Kootenay’s emergency notification system to ensure you receive any local evacuation alerts and orders.

Emergency Notification System

For anyone who lives in an area that is prone to flooding, there is a public sandbagging station set up near the Operations Facility at 1492 Railway Avenue.

The sandbag stations have sand and bags, you just need to bring your own shovels and gloves. Sandbags should be filled half to three-quarter full with the ends folded over for best compaction and effectiveness when placing them. There is signage in place with guidelines for using the station during COVID-19.

City of Fernie


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