Kootenay Lake seen from Gyro Park in Nelson. (Photo by Bill Metcalfe)

Kootenay Lake seen from Gyro Park in Nelson. (Photo by Bill Metcalfe)

Kootenay Lake at risk of flooding if temperatures rise

Lake levels are rising due to above normal snowpack and delayed melt

Due to above normal snowpack and delayed melt, there is an increased possibility that flooding could occur during early June if temperatures rise substantially.

In a news release, FortisBC and the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) warned property owners on Kootenay Lake to be prepared.

“As of May 19, the lake level at Queen’s Bay was 1744 feet and expected to rise two to three feet over the next week,” said the release.

“Although lake levels are forecasted to remain below the 1752-feet flood level, the lake is subject to large natural inflows of water as a result of melting snowpack and precipitation. This means conditions could change suddenly over the next few weeks.”

Power generation facilities like FortisBC’s Corra Linn Dam play a key role in managing lake levels. Since the beginning of March, FortisBC has discharged the maximum amount of water from Corra Linn.

However, at this time, Grohman Narrows, a natural geological formation located upstream of FortisBC facilities, is restricting water flowing out of Kootenay Lake.

“Residents and businesses along Kootenay Lake are encouraged to keep a close eye on lake levels over this period, 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,” said the release.

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.

Residents should take the time to be flood prepared by taking the necessary steps to protect their home and property. Know the risks, have a plan, and have an emergency kit.

For more information and sandbag locations go to rdck.ca/befloodprepared. To sign up for emergency notifications on floods and other local emergencies in the RDCK, visit rdck.ca/emergencynotification.

To report a flood emergency contact the provincial coordination centre at 1-800-663-3456.

Creston Valley