High Streamflow Advisory issued for Boundary region
The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) is warning Boundary residents to be careful and stay clear of fast-flowing rivers and creeks after the BC River Forecast Centre issued a High Streamflow Advisory Wednesday (May 6) afternoon.
The High Streamflow Advisory warns the public that water levels will rise during the next 24 to 48 hours with pockets of rainfall possible through the evening of May 6 in the mountains above the West Kettle, Kettle and Granby Rivers.
Smaller streams and tributaries are running very high as a result of up to 30 millimetres of rain that fell across the Boundary region today.
“The warning applies to tributaries and to the West Kettle, Kettle and Granby rivers.,” the RDKB media release said.
“Erosion not visible above the water may cause banks to suddenly and unexpectedly collapse and debris to accumulate or dislodge at any time.”
The RDKB said thepotential for streamflow is in the 2-year to 5-year return period range, which means an average to slightly above average flow compared to a typical freshet season.
The RDKB said increase in water levels for larger rivers may happen as early as midday Thursday, May 7 and into Friday, May 8 with a period of higher flows expected over the weekend and into next week.
“Major flooding is still not expected in the forecast period, but property owners with low-lying land should be taking care to have animals or vulnerable goods out of the low flood plain in case rivers rise further in the coming week,” the RDKB said.
“Property owners who see flooding in low-lying areas most years, or who typically have issues with spring groundwater are asked to remain vigilant. River levels are predicted to rise again with the arrival of warmer temperatures this weekend.”
The RDKB said farmers and others with rural property should check culverts and access roads for any damage due to the surge in smaller streams responding to the rainstorm.
Building owners should check for localized drainage issues or water damage related to downspouts, roof maintenance or other site-specific concerns.
The RDKB has stockpiled 250,000 sandbags and our operations and logistics teams are poised to launch central sand pickup sites if river forecasts dictate a need.
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.
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.
To access the latest stream flow advisories and other information from the BC River Forecast Centre go to http://bcrfc.env.gov.bc.ca/warnings/advisories/flood_033.htm
The RDKB is monitoring all waterways and will assess freshet response needs on the morning of May 7 and provide update then.