With the West Kootenay snowpack sitting at 128 per cent of normal, the Regional District of Central Kootenay is urging residents to be prepared as the risk of flooding increases.
Rivers, creeks and streams in the RDCK are flowing at seasonal to below seasonal levels due to reduced snow melt rates.
Flooding risk is influenced by weather patterns with cooler spring temperatures, periods of extreme heat, and wet weather increasing chances of a flood.
Cooler temperatures seen throughout the region in April and May have increased the risk of flooding, especially if there is an extended period of extreme heat in June, according to the RDCK.
The RDCK is also warning people to stay away from the edges of rivers, streams and creeks and report any erosion or flooding to the Provincial Emergency Coordinator Centre at 1-800-663-3456.
Residents and business along Kootenay Lake are encouraged to keep a close eye on lake levels and assess what impact rising lake levels may have on their property and be prepared in the event there is a sudden rise in lake level.
FortisBC provides daily updates on current and forecasted lake levels. For the most current information and to sign up for lake level notices, visit fortisbc.com/lakelevel.
The district is also reminding residents that the key to emergency preparedness is knowing the risks and having a plan.
Know the hazards in your area and take the time now to assemble your family emergency kit and grab-and-go bag. Your plan should also include where you will meet if you need to evacuate, including moving pets and livestock to a safe area, in the event the situation worsens and an evacuation order is enforced.
Sandbags and sand are available for residents. Pick up locations can be found at rdck.ca/befloodprepared.
RDCK residents can also sign up for emergency notifications through Voyent Alert, the district’s mass-notification system.
Residents should be aware that the province has expanded use of its broadcast intrusive system to include flooding and wildfire messaging. This allows local government and First Nations to use the service to alert residents if there is an imminent threat to life and public safety. This system will be used to amplify evacuation orders in the RDCK.
For details about evacuations and emergency preparedness, along with other resources, visit rdck.ca/eocinfo.