*MAY 29, 2020 4:36 pm*

A sweltering hot weekend may turn to intense thunderstorms and rain.

With that sudden influx of water, all rivers across the Kootenays are expected to rise sharply.

“Extreme vigilance is required this weekend around rivers, creeks and streams,” the RDCK said in Friday’s release. “Specifically the Salmo and Slocan river regions.”

A high stream-flow advisory was issued by the BC River Forecast Centre for the entire region. The hot weather followed a low pressure weather system is described as a  ‘one-two punch in terms of flooding’.

“As far as weather scenarios during freshet season, this is worst case,” said Regional Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) Director, Chris Johnson. “Weather this hot, over this many days results in significant snow melt, essentially filling up our rivers and creeks. This on its own can be challenging, but when it is followed by precipitation, especially this kind of convective weather that is likely to result in thunderstorms forming with severe downpours, it results in the potential for very high, possibly destructive flows in our systems.”

The RDCK EOC say they will be monitoring conditions throughout the weekend.  They explain that while the impacts on larger systems like the Slocan and Salmo rivers are more easily predicted, the many steep creeks and streams throughout the region are susceptible to sudden and significant increases of flow.

Now is the time to prepare if you live near a creek or river, or have experienced flooding from a creek or river in the past.

“Evacuations may be required with little to no warning, so please do take some time now to get prepared in the event you are required to leave in a moments notice,” said Johnson.

The following links will provide locals with additional information to prepare and stay informed.

BC Flood Warnings and Advisories

BC River Forecast Centre

Be flood prepared

Make your plan

Build your emergency kit and grab-and-go bag


An unusually hot weekend predicted by Environment Canada could to turn to heavy rainfall, increasing the flood risk in the Boundary.

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and the City of Grand Forks are working hand in hand to prepare residents for rising waters.

“Due to increasing risk of flooding, the BC River Forecast Centre issued a Flood Watch for the Boundary Region including the Kettle River, West Kettle River, Granby River and tributaries. This means that river levels are rising and will approach or may exceed bank-full. Flooding of areas adjacent to affected rivers may occur.” The EOC said in Thursday’s release.

As of May 28, 2020 the RDKB is asking all residents to register for emergency alerts.

The above link will allow those who register to get live updates by phone, email and/or an mobile app.

“This freshet has really been unrelenting in the sense that the Kettle River has been close to bank-full for over a month now. This means any spike in temperature or precipitation puts low-lying areas immediately at risk of flooding. In the past 24 hours the forecasts have dropped slightly as we receive more accurate information, but we are still watching for a scenario that could approach or exceed what we saw in 2017 where low-lying properties were flooded and we saw access to some roads cut off,” said Mark Stephens, EOC Director.

To prepare for rising river levels, Emergency Management BC, the RDKB and the City of Grand Forks have invested in anti-flooding equipment.

Tiger Dams™ (large, tubular bladders ready to be filled with water) and HESCO Floodline bins (large, flexible cubes ready to be filled with earth) are on-site and ready to be deployed if needed.

Residents who are looking for a guide on how to prepare for the worst may follow this link. The regional district also provides daily updates here.

Free sandbags and sand are currently available for residents in the following locations:

  • Beaverdell behind the Fire Hall
  • Westbridge Hall
  • Riverside Centre in Rock Creek
  • Grand Forks Arena

Residents must bring their own tools and equipment (shovels, transportation) and respect a physical distance of two metres (six feet) between workers as they fill sandbags.