Prepare for flood risk

The risk of flooding may be minimal, but it's better to be safe than sorry

It’s a wet year for most of Canada. The flooding out east looks horrific, and now we are seeing pictures roll in of flooding in B.C. as well. It’s an all-too-common spring scenario these days: not enough room for the record-high water and snow levels melting into the waterways.

In Fairmont Hot Springs, government officials are busy monitoring waterways to ensure the risk of flooding is kept minimal. Fairmont residents are probably watching the water even closer, at least those who were living in the community in 2012 and 2013 when a debris slide and flooding caused considerable damage to the tune of nearly $4 million.

The upside of the flooding in Fairmont was the funding that came pouring in to help mitigate future flooding risks. In 2016, the Province committed $1.47 million. In 2014, the federal and provincial governments footed $311,553 for a debris flow mitigation project, with the RDEK, local businesses and nonprofit groups chipping in for part of the remainder of the $155,770 bill and the rest coming through property taxation.

However, the risk is still present and officials reported to The Echo last week that minor debris was noted in Fairmont creek. So it’s a timely reminder that local officials emphasized at the recent Emergency Preparedness Fair: be prepared.

It’s a sad thing to watch as people’s homes are flooded or threatened with rising waters. What is even more sad is those who do not prepare ahead and are left with little to their names other than the clothes on their backs.

Get your 72 hour kits ready. Ensure you have enough clean water, food and supplies if you have to get out of your house quickly. In every emergency situation, there are the stories of those who did not prepare. Don’t be one of those stories.

If you need help coming up with a plan and how to pack properly, see www.rdek.bc.ca/departments/emergencyservices/

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