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Elk Valley Weathers the Storm as Heavy Rainfall Turns to Snow

Water levels have started to recede, and the attention is turning away from potential flooding and towards treacherous road conditions as the East Kootenay continues to be battered by an atmospheric river.

“A member of our Flood Response Unit was stationed in the Elk Valley since Monday night when the storm first hit and has been doing regular patrols throughout the week on the Hosmer to Cokato corridor,” says RDEK Protective Services Manager, Christina Carbrey. “We did see some overland pooling on a few properties in the Hosmer area, and the temporary overtopping of a small section of road in Cokato, but were fortunate that the impacts were not more significant.”

The RDEK requested approval from the Province to conduct in-stream work at the confluence of Hosmer and Mine Creeks to complete some emergency flood mitigation work after gravel and debris accumulation created the potential for more substantial flooding in the surrounding area. “Water Stewardship BC issued an Order allowing us to proceed with the work, which was undertaken Thursday morning and allowed us to complete work within the channel to effectively restore flows.”

Cooler temperatures and snow have helped lessen the potential for flooding and the BC River Forecast Centre has now lifted the High Streamflow Advisory that had been in effect since Monday. “We will continue to monitor conditions over the next few days, but feel the highest risk is now behind us on the flood front,” adds Carbrey. “I would like to thank the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Water Stewardship BC, contractors, staff and residents who all spung into action and worked together to minimize the impacts of this significant weather event.”

The RDEK’s self-fill sandbag station will remain in place at the Elk River Inn in Hosmer for anyone still wishing to access sandbags.

Fog, ice and heavy snow in places are creating challenging winter driving conditions around the region. Residents are urged to stay off the roads if they can, and if they must travel, to leave plenty of extra time and use extreme caution. Anyone heading out should check Drive BC for the latest road conditions and travel advisories.