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RDEK Urges Caution Around Waterways, Preparedness with Rain in Forecast

The BC River Forecast Centre has issued a High-Streamflow Advisory for the East Kootenay and the RDEK is urging residents to use extreme caution around waterways and to be prepared.

“With the forecast calling for a series of rain events over the next few days, it is critical that residents be aware and prepared,” says Information Officer, Loree Duczek. “From staying away from local creeks and waterways, to making sure you are registered for the Regional Evacuation Notification System, sandbagging if you live in flood-prone areas, and having a grab and go kit and emergency plan ready, there are several things we can do to be proactive in the event we experience localized flooding as a result of the forecasted rain.”

Self-fill sandbag stations have been set up around the region as follows: 

Hosmer – Elk River Hostel/Pub – Hwy 3 at 6th Avenue (in the lot south of the pub)

Fernie – 1350 Railway Avenue, corner of Railway Ave & Ridgemont Ave

Cranbrook – Next to Public Works Yard, 201 Cobham Avenue

Residents need to bring their own shovels and gloves.

Due to the warm temperatures and the saturation of the ground, smaller creeks and tributaries will be particularly susceptible to impacts and sudden changes as a result of heavy rainfall. “Please stay well back from all creeks and rivers as banks can be potentially unstable and conditions can change quickly with little to no warning,” adds Duczek.

The Regional Evacuation Notification System is powered by Voyent Alert! to keep residents and property owners informed in case of evacuation orders or alerts during critical events such as wildfires, floods or hazardous materials incidents. It is a free, anonymous service and is available to everyone in the East Kootenay including municipalities, rural areas and First Nations. “The notification system is one of the most powerful tools we have to help us get the word out as quickly as possible to affected areas when time is of the essence,” says Duczek.

For instructions on how to sign up for the Evacuation Notification System and other emergency preparedness tips, visit the Emergency Information page on [url=http://www.rdek.bc.ca]http://www.rdek.bc.ca[/url].

Residents who see, or are experiencing, wide-scale flooding are encouraged to report it immediately 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,” stresses Duczek.