With a significant amount of mountain snow pack still remaining, according to the BC Ministry of Forests – River Forecast Centre, residents of the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) can expect freshet season to be extended to late July.
The snow pack is snow on the ground in mountainous areas that persists until the arrival of warmer weather. Across the province the average snow pack is well above normal. Typically by this time of year, three quarters of the accumulated snow pack has melted; however, due to the abnormally cooler temperatures throughout April and May it has been delayed. Currently, the average snow pack in BC is 198% of normal, while in the West Kootenay region, which includes the entire RDCK, snow pack is at 215% of normal. This number indicates a continued enhanced risk from snowmelt related flooding, especially in combination with heavy rain.
The RDCK remains under a High Streamflow Advisory. Earlier this week the BC River Forecast Centre downgraded the advisory from a Flood Watch Advisory. Most rivers, streams and creeks have risen to normal or above normal levels and are extremely vulnerable to heavy rainfall events. Residents are reminded to exercise extreme caution around rivers and creeks.
Kootenay Lake is currently at 1751.45 ft. (533.84 metres) at Queen’s Bay. FortisBC has advised all residents that the lake level still has the potential to exceed 1752 feet. Go to www.fortisbc.com/lakelevel to access the hourly updated Kootenay Lake level.
Environment Canada forecasts unsettled weather conditions throughout the RDCK over the next week with no sign of an extended heat event. However, a significant change in the forecast or thunderstorms along with heavy rainfall could result in localized floods.
There are currently no Evacuation Alerts or Orders in the RDCK. On Tuesday, June 14 the RDCK removed the Evacuation Alert for the community of Six Mile near Nelson BC, as the risk of damage to the Duhamel Creek Orphan Dike structure has diminished.