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State of Local Emergency Lifted in Fairmont

July 03, 2020 - 6:18pm

Effective 4:00pm today, the State of Local Emergency in Fairmont has been lifted. “We have restored sufficient capacity within the Cold Spring Creek and Fairmont Creek debris trap systems that the State of Local Emergency is no longer required,” says Information Officer, Loree Duczek. For the past week, the work has focused primarily on the three uppermost debris traps on Fairmont Creek, with two of the three now back to 100% available capacity and the third scheduled to be at 100% capacity by end of day today. “There will be additional minor clean up and work required next week;...
Provincial Disaster Financial Assistance Now Available For Those Affected By Flooding

July 02, 2020 - 11:19am

Emergency Management BC (EMBC) has authorized disaster financial assistance (DFA) for those who experienced damage as a result of the flooding and debris flows triggered by the May 31 heavy rainfall event. 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. Applicants should first check with their insurance agent to determine if their insurance policy provides coverage for the resulting damage....
Milestone Moment in Windermere as Long-Standing Water Quality Advisory is Lifted

June 29, 2020 - 6:42pm

It is a big day for the community of Windermere today as the Water Quality Advisory has been officially lifted following the community’s connection to the East Side Water Service. “This day has been over 15 years in the making and is the result of an incredible amount of work and commitment by so many: from the RDEK Board and staff, to the members of our Utility Advisory Commissions, the community, the contractors and consultants, and the provincial and federal governments who provided funding,” says RDEK Area F Director Susan Clovechok. “We also share this milestone with former Electoral...
Order for Emergency In-Stream Works in Windermere Creek Extended

June 26, 2020 - 6:19pm

The RDEK will be continuing excavation and dredging in the lower reaches of Windermere Creek after the Province has granted an extension of the Order permitting the emergency in-stream works. “We are grateful to the Province and Water Stewardship for granting the extension as we know the build-up of sediment is continuing to have an impact at the mouth of creek,” says Information Officer Loree Duczek. As a result of the May 31 heavy rain event, the build up of sediment impeded the creek channel into Lake Windermere and resulted in the flooding of some low-lying properties between...
Recreationalists Urged to Use Caution - Fallen Tree in Columbia River

June 26, 2020 - 5:53pm

Anyone planning a float, kayak or tube down the Columbia River is being advised of a potential safety hazard after a tree fell into the river this afternoon. “There is a large tree blocking the main channel on the Columbia River near the 14th fairway on Riverside Golf course between the highway bridge and railway bridge,” says Information Officer Loree Duczek. “We know this is a popular spot for people to tube and float and want to get the word out so people are aware of the potential hazard.” Danger signs have been posted at some of the common put-in points and posted on social...
Fairmont Creek Evacuation Alert Rescinded

June 26, 2020 - 11:50am

Effective at Noon today (June 26, 2020) the Evacuation Alert for Fairmont Creek in Fairmont has been rescinded. Residents along Fairmont Creek were evacuated on May 31 following a major debris flow event; however, they were able to return home June 2nd and the Evacuation Alert has been in place ever since. “While the debris removal work continues on Fairmont Creek, we have now regained enough capacity within the system that we can lift the Alert,” says Information Officer Loree Duczek. The debris flow event, the second largest in recorded history in Fairmont, was caused by a...
Area Director Reflects on Work Achieved and Work to Come

June 19, 2020 - 11:23am

Two and a half weeks ago as a heavy rain event unleashed its fury on the East Kootenay, RDEK Electoral Area F Director Susan Clovechok prepared to face her first wide-scale emergency response since taking office. “On Sunday, May 31 my phone started ringing with calls from constituents and the emergency management team. By that evening, the magnitude of what we were facing was becoming evident,” says Clovechok.  “I have been so impressed by the residents who stepped up to support each other, whether it was helping with sandbagging or cleaning up yards that had debris. A special thanks to...
Windermere Creek Evacuation Alert RESCINDED

June 17, 2020 - 2:49pm

The Evacuation Alert has been RESCINDED for 10 properties on the lower reaches of Windermere Creek. “The crews have been working steadily to remove the build up of sedimentation and restore channel capacity between Victoria Avenue and the mouth of the creek. The work on the ground will continue for the coming days and the carrying capacity of the creek has improved to the point that we are able to lift the Alert,” explains Information Officer Loree Duczek. The RDEK has been working with Water Stewardship and the hydrotechnical engineering consultant overseeing the emergency in-stream...
RDEK Establishes Damage Reporting Page to Help Determine Full Scope of May 31 Storm Event

June 16, 2020 - 2:49pm

The RDEK has set up a simple reporting tool to gain a greater understanding of the scope of damages from the storm event on May 31. “While there are some larger scale impacts that are being actioned, such as the debris flows and flooding in the Columbia Valley, we know there are also a number of individual impacts to properties as a result of that intense storm,” explains Information Officer Loree Duczek. “We really want to hear from every property owner that sustained damage so that we can better understand the wider scope of the damages and use that information as part of our reporting...
Evacuation Alert RESCINDED for Cold Spring Creek in Fairmont

June 15, 2020 - 12:02pm

The Evacuation Alert has been RESCINDED for the Cold Spring Creek area in Fairmont. The Alert had been in place since May 31 when heavy rain resulted in localized flooding and debris on both Cold Spring Creek and Fairmont Creek. “The crews have been working steadily since May 31st to restore channel capacity. Debris removal has now been completed at the Cold Spring Creek reservoir and it is back to 100% capacity,” explains Information Officer Loree Duczek. The Evacuation Alert for Fairmont Creek remains in place as efforts continue to excavate and remove debris from the debris traps on...
Evacuation Alert Issued for Low-Lying Properties along Windermere Creek

June 13, 2020 - 2:53pm

The RDEK has issued an evacuation alert for 10 properties in the Windermere Creek area in Windermere due to the ongoing flooding and the potential for unpredictable severe weather. “With the potential for heavy rain, particularly associated with isolated thunderstorms, there could be sudden changes in the creek.  As a result, we want to ensure people are taking the steps to prepare themselves to leave on a moment’s notice should conditions worsen,” says RDEK Information Officer Loree Duczek. “Now is the time to think about where you would go in the event of an evacuation. Make a list of...
East Kootenay Braces for Possible Severe Thunderstorms

June 12, 2020 - 7:20pm

The possibility of severe weather this weekend has the Regional District of East Kootenay urging residents to remain vigilant about being aware and prepared for changing conditions. On Saturday, a vigorous cold front is forecast to cross southern B.C. generating strong thunderstorms, with the possibility of hail, heavy rain, lightning and strong winds. The forecast is calling for 10-40mm of rain across the East Kootenay through the weekend, with an additional 10-15mm possible with the isolated storm cells. “We know the cold front will be moving across the region. What we don’t know is...
Emergency Order Approved – In-Stream Work Begins on Windermere Creek

June 12, 2020 - 5:26pm

The RDEK has just received an approved ORDER to begin emergency in-stream work on Windermere Creek to address the build up of sedimentation at the mouth of the creek which is causing flooding of the low-lying properties in that area. “Once we declared a State of Local Emergency and requested approval to undertake emergency in-stream work, we were provided with a list of steps required for approval of this application under the Water Sustainability Act,” says Information Officer Loree Duczek. “We have worked hard to put everything in place to be approved, and this is wonderful news.” The...
Edgewater Water Reservoirs Filling as Turbidity Levels Drop

June 12, 2020 - 12:29pm

12 days after a debris flow in the watershed that feeds the Edgewater Water System, turbidity levels are dropping in Lake Baptiste and the RDEK has re-opened the intake into its steel reservoirs. “While turbidity levels in the lake are still higher than normal, they have improved enough that yesterday we were able to turn the intake into the steel reservoirs back on and begin filling them,” explains Information Officer Loree Duczek. “We continued to haul water yesterday to help during the filling process and the towers were fully filled last night.” As a result, residents who have been...
2020/2021 Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Programs Funding Approved

June 10, 2020 - 11:12am

The Regional District of East Kootenay Board of Directors has approved funding for 110 projects around the region over the coming year. The funding comes from Columbia Basin Trust’s Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Programs, which are administered by the RDEK.  “The approved 2020/2021 projects represent $1,139,094.69 in funding for everything from youth mental health and education initiatives to recreation programs, equipment purchases and facility upgrades,” says RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay. “When you look at the range of projects and sectors across the region that benefit, it...
State of Local Emergency Declared in Windermere

June 09, 2020 - 11:27pm

The RDEK has declared a State of Local Emergency in Windermere as Windermere Creek continues to swell and is causing the potential for flooding of homes and properties in the low-lying area where the creek flows into the lake. “We are currently working with the Province to get the approvals to do work within the creek channel, and if approved, will mobilize equipment as quickly as possible,” explains Information Officer Loree Duczek.   Windermere Creek has been running high for several days and increasing sedimentation within the channel has magnified the potential for flooding.  RDEK...
Crews Make Progress in Fairmont as Magnitude of Event Becomes Clear

June 08, 2020 - 9:57pm

A massive clean-up effort remains underway in Fairmont as the magnitude of last Sunday’s debris flow is becoming more clear. “The heavy rainfall on May 31 resulted in the second-largest debris flow in recorded history in Fairmont and an estimated 30,000m3 of logs, rock and other debris in our traps on Fairmont Creek and Cold Spring Creek,” explains RDEK Engineering Services Manager Brian Funke. “This event is roughly half the size of the 2012 debris flow and could have been catastrophic had the new debris flow mitigation measures not been in place.” In 2018, the RDEK completed a...
Edgewater & Windermere Residents Urged to Conserve Water

June 03, 2020 - 2:18pm

Users on the Edgewater Water System are being urged to immediately limit water use to essential purposes only after a debris slide impacted the community’s drinking water source. “The RDEK is currently trucking water from Radium into the steel reservoir towers to ensure a water supply for essential water use for the community,” explains RDEK Engineering Services Manager Brian Funke.  “Trucking water offers a limited supply and we currently cannot keep up with the demand. It’s critical that the community limit their water use as much as possible.” Residents should avoid all outdoor...
Boil Water Notice Issued for Edgewater Water System

June 02, 2020 - 2:43pm

A Boil Water Notice has been issued for all residents on the Edgewater Water System effective immediately. “The heavy rainfall on Sunday resulted in a debris slide in the McCauley Creek watershed, which feeds into Lake Baptiste,” explains RDEK Engineering Services Manager Brian Funke. “The slide resulted in significant sedimentation in the lake and, as a result, high turbidity levels in the water system.” Due to the turbidity levels, a Boil Water Notice is now in effect. The RDEK and Interior Health recommend that all customers on the Edgewater Water System use boiled water or a safe...
Fairmont Creek Evacuation Order Downgraded to Evacuation Alert, Cold Spring Creek Alert Remains in Place

June 02, 2020 - 12:40pm

Based on the recommendations of the geomorphologist, the evacuation ORDER for Fairmont Creek has been downgraded to an evacuation ALERT for 24 properties. It is important for people within the Alert area to remain prepared to evacuate on a moment’s notice and follow updates from the RDEK in the event that conditions worsen and an order needs to be re-issued. A map of the alert area is available on the RDEK’s website.  The evacuation ALERT for Cold Spring Creek affecting 33 properties in Fairmont Hot Springs also remains in effect. Fairmont Creek and Cold Spring Creek remain active and...

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