RDKB says subdued snowmelt means steady freshet for coming days
In a media release Friday, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) said Boundary residents will see river levels rise on (Friday) May 1 by midnight, then drop slightly after the weekend and start to rise again next week as temperatures again increase.
“With a trend toward cooler seasonal temperatures persisting through the weekend, our team feels pretty positive about the next week,” said Mark Stephens, EOC Director for the RDKB.
“We know that there is some rain coming, but all signs today are good – we’re well below any potential flooding levels compared to where we were at in 2017 or 2018 on this date.”
The RDKB said the Boundary snowpack is currently at 119 per cent of normal compared to May 1, 2018 when snowpack was at 167 per cent of normal.
Stephens said the RDKB Freshet Advanced Planning team will continue to consult a variety of computer models and field readings daily to monitor river and creek levels and will provide their next public flood forecast the week of May 4 on the RDKB emergency website, emergency.rdkb.com.
“We are most concerned about any rain we could about a week from now, and of course we learned in 2018 that extreme weather can come on suddenly in a specific drainage or mountain range, but right now all trends show a fairly stable freshet for the next week,” said Stephens.
The RDKB has stockpiled 250,000 sandbags and will announce sand pick up locations if the situation changes.
The RDKB EOC in cooperation with Emergency Management BC and the City of Grand Forks has pre-positioned flood protection equipment including Tiger Dams™ (large, tubular bladders ready to be filled with water) and HESCO Floodline bins (large, flexible cubes ready to be filled with earth) in the City of Grand Forks.
This equipment is a precautionary measure to ensure flood protection for major public infrastructure if required. It could be sent to other parts of the province at any time if it is needed more elsewhere.
The RDKB said residents who are 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 got to https://ca.voyent-alert.com/vras/user-registration.html.
The RDKB will continue to update the public as new information is available.