RDCK warns public to use caution around rivers, creeks and streams
While the West Kootenay has been spared much of the recent onslaught of wet weather experienced on the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, the Regional District of Central Kootenay is not taking any chances by sending out a warning to residents.
“(Residents should) use caution while spending time in a confined creek channel or gully that is prone to debris flows and exercise caution around all fast moving water,” said the RDCK press release.
The RDCK is concerned the recent rainfall throughout the Kootenays may cause creek and river levels to rise, which can lead to debris flows, which are fast-moving mixtures of water, sediment, boulders and logs that flow down steep mountain creeks.
“Creeks in the Kootenays often flow dirty after a major rainstorm,” said the release.
“Dirty or turbid water doesn’t necessarily indicate that a debris flow hazard exists. However, abnormally dirty water may signal that a landslide or bank failure has occurred upstream. Pulses of sediment in a creek channel may also indicate that something unusual has occurred upstream.
“Also, a large volume of debris (logs, sediment etc.) accumulating in a creek channel or at the mouth of the creek may indicate that a natural hazard event has occurred in the watershed.”
Anyone observing abnormally dirty water, pulses of sediment, or a large volume of debris, call the provincial emergency number at 1 800 663-3456 to report your observations.
For more information on debris flows please refer to the brochure located on the RDCK website.
Residents are responsible for having an emergency plan as well as the tools and items necessary to protect their homes and properties.
Empty sandbags may be available at local fire departments.
Call the fire department non-emergency number to arrange for pick up.