Heavy rain prompts evacuation alert for 229 properties in Fairmont Hot Springs area

·1 min read
Properties around Cold Spring Creek are on evacuation alert. (Regional District of East Kootenay - image credit)
Properties around Cold Spring Creek are on evacuation alert. (Regional District of East Kootenay - image credit)

Intense rain has forced officials to issue an evacuation alert for more than 200 properties along two creeks that are threatening to overflow in the area of Fairmont Hot Springs, B.C.

The Regional District of East Kootenay issued the alert for 229 properties out of caution due to heavy rainfall over the past 24 hours and sediment blocking drainage in some areas.

"The prolonged, steady rain has resulted in an increase in water flow and sedimentation in both Fairmont Creek and Cold Spring Creek, which has filled our upper debris basins on both systems to near capacity," said Loree Duczek in a news release.

No flooding has been reported yet.

The area around Fairmont Creek where properties are on evacuation alert.
The area around Fairmont Creek where properties are on evacuation alert.(Regional District of East Kootenay)

But Duczek said a one-in-25-year rain event dumped 44 millimetres in the past 24 hours and that has raised concerns. She said heavy sediment flow is also blocking debris traps, increasing the risk of floods.

With more rain and thunderstorms on the horizon for this week, Duczek says an evacuation alert has been issued out of caution "to give people time to prepare to leave on a moment's notice should conditions worsen."

The same area had flooding issues in late May last year, when overflowing creeks backed up culverts. Some yards and streets were flooded, forcing some people to leave homes and campgrounds.

Rising waters flooded Highway 3 east of Sparwood, B.C., in May 2020.
Rising waters flooded Highway 3 east of Sparwood, B.C., in May 2020.(Alex Hanson)
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