RDEK Urges Residents to Be Prepared and Aware as Rainfall Possible This Weekend

As most rivers and streams recede across the region, the BC River Forecast Centre has downgraded the East Kootenay to a High Streamflow Advisory from a Flood Watch. And, while that is encouraging news, the RDEK is urging residents to continue to be prepared and aware in the days and weeks to come.

“The heavy rainfall on Sunday certainly accelerated our spring freshet and resulted in a number of impacts around the region,” says Information Officer, Loree Duczek. “While we expect things to remain somewhat stable for the next few days, it is important for residents to remain vigilant as we are still vulnerable to flooding, particularly if we experience another heavy rain event, which is a possibility this weekend.”

Self-fill sandbag stations have been set up at:
• Jaffray Community Hall (NEW) - 7369 Jaffray Village Loop Rd
• Wasa Community Hall (NEW) – Wasa School Road
• Cranbrook Public Works Yard - Cobham Avenue
• Old Barn - Mountainside Golf Course - Fairmont Hot Springs Road
• Windermere Fire Hall parking lot - Highway 93/95
• RDEK Pump House in Moyie - 9289 Tavistock Street
• Centennial Hall - 100 4th Avenue, Kimberley
• Fernie Public Works Yard - 1492 Railway Avenue

The sandbag stations have sand and bags; however, residents need to bring their own shovels and gloves.

While it is still too soon to know whether the East Kootenay will be hit by rain Saturday and Sunday, the RDEK is urging residents to take steps now to be prepared. “This past weekend was a good example of how quickly things can change. There are a few steps residents can take to help themselves be ready and able to act quickly in an emergency,” adds Duczek.

There is an Evacuation Notification System for the East Kootenay and everyone is encouraged to sign up to be notified of evacuation alerts or orders. The service is free and available to everyone through a simple registration process. Once you have registered at least one location, you can choose to receive notifications via text or by phone to both mobile and landlines. There is also an app that can be downloaded to smartphones.

To receive notifications via text or phone, registration is available online at: https://ca.voyentalert.com/vras/register.html. Choose “My Locations” from the menu to add locations. For those who use a smart phone, the Voyent Alert! app can also be downloaded from the Apple App or Google Play stores.

“This service is available to all residents and property owners in the East Kootenay. Whether you live in a municipality, a rural area or First Nation community, own a seasonal home here, or you are visiting, you will receive a notification if you have subscribed and there is an evacuation alert or order affecting your chosen locations,” says Duczek.

If people want general information on emergencies or to receive evacuation notification via email, they should sign up for one of the RDEK’s email groups at www.rdek.bc.ca. Other ways to stay aware and informed include the RDEK Facebook or Instagram page, local media or municipal information sources. 

To learn more about how to prepare for emergencies, build an emergency kit or create a family emergency plan, visit PreparedBC.ca.

Media Contact:
Loree Duczek, Communications Manager