Greater Trail municipalities keeping close eye on local water levels

By Art Harrison – Trail Daily Times
Published: June 21, 2013 12:00 PM
Updated: June 21, 2013 12:08 PM

tdtTrailCreek.jpgTrail Creek

While much of Southern B.C. is being deluged by extreme rainfall, mudslides, and flooding, stream levels in the Greater Trail area aren’t currently presenting much cause for concern.

As of press time rainfall warnings were still in effect for much of the Southern Interior region with the BC River Forecast Centre upgrading the High Streamflow Advisory to Flood Watch for West and East Kootenay, Upper Columbia (smaller tributary rivers) and Lower Columbia (smaller tributary rivers.)

In addition the centre reports that as much as 130 millimetres of rain has fallen over the last 48 hours in the Columbia and Kootenay regions.

Locally municipalities are keeping an eye on the water levels.

“Beaver Creek is up slightly but still well below any level for concern,” said Melissa Zahn, executive assistant with the Fruitvale Village office. “We’re keeping an eye on things but we’re keeping staffing levels normal.”

While no immediate flood threats have been reported by any of the municipalities or village offices in the Greater Trail area it may not be time to put away you umbrellas just yet as Environment Canada is predicting continuing rainfall throughout the weekend and into next week.

The rain began falling Tuesday and Environment Canada reported that a new daily rainfall record was set in Warfield for Wednesday of 27 millimetres, more than doubling the previous record of 12.2 millimetres, set in 1943.

Highway travel is becoming a challenge in some parts of the area after two mudslides closed Highway 31 north of Kaslo, a washout closed Highway 31A between New Denver and Kaslo, and multiple washouts closed Highway 1, east of Golden.

In Fernie, the Fernie Free Press reported that Teck employees in the East Kootenay were being sent home due to flooding on access roads on some of the mining giant’s properties.

“We are experiencing localized impact of heavy rains at our Elk Valley operations,” Teck’s Manager of Community and Aboriginal Affairs in Sparwood, Nic Milligan told reporters Thursday. “Some access roads have been closed due to the rain and we have sent employees home from some sites as necessary.”

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