Posted: November 16, 2021
The situation stabilizes in the Elk Valley
Water levels are slowly falling properties flooded in the Elk Valley today as calmer, drier conditions are expected over the next few days, the East Kootenay Regional District (RDEK) reported tonight (Nov. 16).
“The evacuation alert remains in effect for 11 properties in Hosmer and will be reassessed tomorrow,” said Loree Duczek, RDEK information officer. “Today engineers completed an assessment of Hosmer and Mine creeks and we applied for approval to complete work in the watercourse to help clear debris and speed up the flow of the creek. “
Highway 3 remains closed four km north of Fernie due to Hartley Creek flooding. There is a detour on Dicken Road and it is not yet clear how long the detour will stay in place.
“We received great news today in the Cokato area as the MOTI (Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure) was able to re-establish access to the southern end of Cokato Road, which provides a exit to all landowners between Thompson Road and Morrissey who had their exit cut off during the storm, ”added Duczek. “One of the amazing things coming out of emergencies is the stories of kindness and support, and we want to thank the residents of Cokato Road and Thompson Road who supported and watched each other until the access to their properties can be restored.
Initially, three sections of Cokato Road were completely compromised by flooding or mudslides. Two of the three accesses, at the Robinson Road intersection and near the Morrissey cattle station, are now passable and open to local traffic. The intersection of Cokato and Thompson Roads remains closed and gates are being placed tonight to ensure public safety until repairs are completed, which could take several days.
RDEK, MOTI and Water Stewardship today completed a second aerial assessment of several key locations around the Elk Valley and the situation appears to be stabilizing.
As water levels continue to drop, attention will soon turn to cleanup and salvage efforts. For private homeowners, there are a number of important steps they can take early in the cleaning process.
“The first step for homeowners is to contact their insurance company immediately. Take photos of any damage to your home and properties, keep all receipts associated with cleaning, and complete a property damage report at engage.rdek.bc.ca, ”said Duczek. “If your well or septic field has been inundated with flood water, it is also important to follow up with a certified septic tank practitioner and shock your well. Interior Health also recommends having your water tested by a qualified laboratory to make sure it has not been affected.
A list of laboratories, restoration companies and flood-related resources is available on the RDEK website.
Although no official announcement has been made, this weather event is likely to qualify for Provincial Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA). Having photos, receipts, and details of damage and cleaning costs will be essential for homeowners if DFA is approved.
“While the situation has stabilized today, it remains important that residents remain aware of current conditions and exercise extreme caution in and around streams and waterways as they can be very unstable. Added Duczek. “We ask everyone to obey local closures on roads and trails. They are in place for your safety.
For more information, visit the Emergency Information page at www.rdek.bc.ca .
Photo courtesy of RDEK