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Mild temperatures raising flooding concerns within the city

Above seasonal temperatures, large amounts of melting snow and rain received the past two days is causing flooding issues and heightening concerns around the City of Cranbrook and the region today.

City Public Works crews are dealing with a massive amount of water the area has seen the past two days. There are many areas of the City that are experiencing flooding issues, including parts of Highway 3, the CP rail yard and some parts of Joseph Creek.

“Right now every available staff member with our Public Works department and every piece of available equipment are out there working,” says Chris Zettel, Communications Officer for the City of Cranbrook. “In fact, Public Works has had to bring in several rented pieces of equipment to help. We will continue to monitor the situation over the next number of days and keep the public updated.”

Joseph Creek is currently running extremely high, higher than even the creek has seen in the spring freshet last spring. Staff is stretched trying to deal with the concerned calls from the public and are doing their very best to assist everyone. However, the public is being asked to please do what they can to help themselves as well. Residents who wish to get sandbags for their properties; Public Works has bags and sand available beside the Public Works yard on Cobham Avenue. You will need to fill your own bags and should bring your own shovel. The City is bringing in a number of contractors to assist.

“A simple thing residents or business owners can also do, is ensure any storm water drain you have around your home or business, please make sure it is clear of ice and debris so the water has somewhere to go,” Zettel said.

Residents are also advised to please stay away from any creeks, including Joseph Creek and lakes including both Elizabeth and Idlewild Lake. Ice conditions on both lakes will most likely be very poor and someone may be able to fall through. The weather forecast is calling for continued warm temperatures and the potential for more rainfall the next couple of days. Overnight temperatures are not expected to hit the freezing mark at least until early next week.

If you are experiencing a flooding related emergency or are concerned about the imminent potential for one, please call the Provincial Emergency Communications Centre at 1-800-663-3456. You can also get some additional information on the Emergency Management BC website at www.embc.gov.bc.ca/em/floods/index.html.

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