The spring brings a lot of relief for the snow birds, but it can also come at a hefty price. Last year certain areas along the Trans-Canada Highway and communities had sever flood damage from numerous issues arising, one of those the thaw.
It was in June of 2017 when the Camp Creek Bridge washed out and shut the road down for two days. While the heavy downpour of rain we experienced was the root cause for the flooding, many factors need to be taken into consideration now.
Water levels are rising in the interior because of increased precipitation and the above average snowpack finally letting go into the earth.
Areas in the Caribou have already been evacuated or have had a warning that an evacuation could be near and the Provincial Government wants everyone to take notice and be prepared as best as they can.
How does this affect me in Revelstoke?
While we may be approximately 6 hours from the Caribou, we all know how nervous we were during last year’s wildfire fiasco. Not to say we need to toss our arms up in a panic, but if last year should have taught us anything; it’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.
The Central and Southern Interior is experiencing flooding and slope instability. Evacuation orders have been issued in certain areas of Central Okanagan, Similkameen and the Central Okanagan Regional District. While this may not be Columbia River- Revelstoke, it is valuable to know which areas are retaining water. There is a high stream flow for the South Interior Boundary and Kootenay Region.
Here are five tips that can help to prepare you and your family for potential flooding:
- Steer clear of river and lake shorelines:
Keep away from river edges and shorelines. During periods of high flow, river banks may be unstable and more prone to sudden collapse. Stay well away, and keep young children and pets away from the banks of fast-flowing streams and flooded areas or bridges.
- Recognize the danger signs:
If you live near a waterway, a change in water colour or rapid change in water level (especially a drop) could indicate a problem upstream. Call your local fire, police or public works department immediately if you suspect something out of the ordinary.
- Do not drive through flood water:
Never attempt to drive or walk in flood water. A mere six inches of fast-moving water can knock over an adult. Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles, including SUVs and pick-up trucks.
If you face a threatening flood situation, park vehicles away from streams and waterways, move electrical appliances to upper floors and make sure to anchor fuel supplies. Listen to local officials if you are asked to evacuate.
- Protect your home:
The public is advised to prepare for possible flooding of low-lying areas by moving equipment and other assets from these areas to higher ground, where possible. Clear perimeter drains, eavesthroughs and gutters. Sandbags can also help, and can be made available through your local government.
- Landslide risk:
Heavy snowmelt may contribute to landslides and dangerous debris in creeks and waterways. Be safe, and do not go down to watch the rushing water. If trees are beginning to lean or bend near your home, or cracks are developing in the hillside, consult an engineer or contact local authorities.