Emergency Info

Updated: April 11, 2017 @ 3:30 PM

High water levels are being reported around the region.  Here are some specific updates:

  • Self-fill Sandbag Stations - Stations have been set up at the Cranbrook Public Works Yard (24 hour access) and Centennial Hall in Kimberley.  You need to bring your own shovel and gloves.
  • Tie Lake Dam - the RDEK has sandbagged and installed rip rap along in the weir and at the outlet culvert at the Tie Lake Dam as water levels continue to rise. Residents are asked to stay out of the area and away from crews placing sandbags as this is an active work site.
  • 3rd Street NW (Cranbrook) / Leask - The Regional District of East Kootenay and City of Cranbrook, with support from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, are working cooperatively in response to localized flooding in the Hospital Creek and Jim Smith Creek drainages.  We are currently experiencing ponding and localized flooding, particularly in the 3rd Street NW area and Leask.  Residents have been working together with the City and RDEK to create a dirt berm and have been actively sandbagging as water pools in Pop Price park. A dirt berm was constructed over the weekend and is being reinforced with additional dirt today (April 11/17).  Sand and sandbags have also been dropped off to help residents in the affected area prepare should the water continue to rise.  There are currently five homes being directly impacted by water on 3rd Street NW.
  • Jim Smith Creek (between Van Horne and Elizabeth Lake) - A few homes and at least one business along Jim Smith Creek between Elizabeth Lake and where the creek channel goes under Van Horne Street are experiencing localized flooding.
  • Elizabeth Lake Levels Rising - Elizabeth Lake is rising up to an inch per day currently and the RDEK is urging Caldwell Road residents to take action now to help protect their property. Things like vehicles, recreational vehicles and other equipment should be moved to higher ground before the water levels rise to the point where access may be difficult or impossible.
  • King Street Open, but Flood Signs on Road - you may want to slow down along a section of King Street between Armour Road and Wilks Road as upland runoff left some mud and debris across the roadway.  The section is signed. Representatives from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, RDEK, and Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations continue to assess conditions in the area.

Disaster Financial Assistance Approved for the entire RDEK (including municipalities) for Those Affected by Flooding in Mid March

On the heels of heavy snowfall over the winter in many parts of the region and the onset of the spring melt, many people have been affected by flooding between March 5 and April 10, 2017.  In recognition of the scope and scale of the flooding, Emergency Management BC has authorized Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) for those affected across the entire Regional District of East Kootenay (including all municipalities).

Those who may qualify for this assistance include: home owners, residential tenants, small business owners, farmers, charitable organizations and local government bodies, who were unable to obtain insurance to cover these disaster-related losses.

Application forms must be submitted to EMBC by June 25, 2017; however, the sooner they are submitted, the better.  Before applying, applicants should first check with their insurance agent to determine if their current insurance policy provides coverage for the resulting damage. As part of the DFA qualification process, the applicant’s insurer will be asked to provide a letter indicating that the applicant could not have purchased insurance to cover these disaster-related losses.

The DFA website is: http://www.gov.bc.ca/disasterfinancialassistance.  There you will find the DFA Application Form, ‘Disaster Financial Assistance Guidelines for Private Sector’, information bulletins about DFA and insurance and ‘One Step at a time – A Guide to Disaster Recovery’. 

Application forms are also available through RDEK offices in both Cranbrook and the Columbia Valley.

Once an application has been submitted, EMBC will confirm eligibility and contracted evaluators will contact eligible applicants to explain the DFA program requirements and schedule an onsite visit.

If you experienced flooding, keep copies of receipts, photos of the flooding and damage, and keep a record of your time. 

This is not an RDEK program, but we know a number of East Kootenay residents have been affected and want to make sure people know there may be some assistance available. If you have questions, please contact EMBC at 1 888 257-4777 (toll-free) or visit the website: http://www.gov.bc.ca/disasterfinancialassistance

General Emergency Informaiton:

Being prepared BEFORE an emergency happens is critical.  Here are some great resources to help you and your family be aware of the stages of evacuation, some of the basics related to personal preparedness and more.

Personal and Family Emergency Preparedness

Each year, thousands of people face emergency situations that could change their lives forever. Don't be caught off-guard. Know the hazards in your area and take the time to assemble your family emergency kit. During an emergency, you and your family could be on your own for an extended period of time. Emergency services may not be readily available, as increasing demands are placed on responders. It may take emergency workers some time to get to you as they help those in most critical need. As well, access to phones, gas, water, sewer and electrical services may be cut off. Learning how to be personally prepared and building a 72 hour kit is vital.

Some items you should include in a 72 hour emergency kit include:

  • Food (non spoiling)
  • Water
  • A manual can opener
  • A crank or battery powered flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra cash
  • A copy of your emergency plan and contact information

For further information on getting prepared and building a 72 hour kit, visit http://www.getprepared.gc.ca

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Understanding the levels of evacuation:

There are three key stages in the evacuation process:

  • Evacuations Alert: Local authorities issue a warning about an imminent threat to life and property and people in the defined area should be ready to leave on short notice.
  • Evacuation Order: When an evacuation order is issued by the local authority, people should leave the area immediately.
  • Evacuation Rescind: People under an evacuation order may return. An evacuation order or alert may be reinstated by the local authority if the threat returns.

Preparing for an Evacuation:

In emergency situations, residents in high risk areas should listen to the local media and follow the instructions of local emergency and transportation officials. Prepare ahead by organizing an emergency supply kit with necessary prescription medications, personal toiletries, a change of clothing, insurance papers and other important documents. If you are evacuated, local officials will provide you with information about the location of a reception centre. You are encouraged to register all family members at the reception centre so, emergency responders know that you are safe.

Last edited: Tue, April 11, 2017 - 2:52:59