With rising waters across the province as spring run-off begins, the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) is encouraging residents living near waterways or in flood-prone areas to take steps now to be aware and prepare.
“It is so important for people to protect their homes and properties early,” stresses emergency services coordinator Travis Abbey. “We have established numerous sandbag stations around the region so they are available to anyone wishing to be proactive in sandbagging if they wish.”
Local sandbag stations are located at the Windermere Fire Hall parking lot, and on the east side of the old barn beside Mountainside Golf Course in Fairmont.
The sandbag stations have sand and bags; however, residents need to bring their own shovels and gloves. Sandbags should be filled ½ to ¾ full with the ends folded over for best compaction and effectiveness when placing them.
While there is no new active flooding in the East Kootenay, water levels are running high in many channels and with both warm weather and precipitation in the forecast, are expected to rise.
“The most effective tool in the toolbox is early preparation and prevention. Residents who are concerned they may be impacted by water levels need to take steps now to prepare themselves,” adds Mr. Abbey. “At the emergency management level, we are working cooperatively with all the municipalities and First Nations in the East Kootenay and are ready to provide support as needed.”
Residents who see, or are experiencing, wide-scale flooding are encouraged to report it to the Provincial Emergency Coordination Centre at 1-800-663-3456. This is the fastest and most effective way to activate local emergency management personnel.