Cold Spring Creek debris trap. Photo courtesy RDEK.

RDEK lifts state of local emergency in Fairmont

Clean up continues from two debris flow events at the end of May

The Regional District of East Kootenay lifted a State of Local Emergency in Fairmont at the end of last week, as the community continues to tackle clean up from two recent debris flow events.

“We have restored sufficient capacity within the Cold Spring Creek and Fairmont Creek debris trap systems that the State of Local Emergency is no longer required,” says Information Officer, Loree Duczek.

On Fairmont Creek, two debris traps have been repaired back to 100 per cent capacity, with the third expected to be done by the end of Friday last week.

“There will be additional minor clean up and work required next week; however, there will be no active hauling or excavation this weekend,” adds Duczek. “Additional debris removal and repair work will continue on both creeks throughout the summer.”

On May 31, two debris flow events occurred on both Fairmont Creek and Cold Spring Creek following a heavy rainstorm. Debris flow traps put in place after similar events nearly a decade ago were effective and helped prevent a worst-case scenario, according to the RDEK.

“This is another significant day in Fairmont. I would like to thank the staff, contractors, emergency program personnel, and Resort for their incredible work over the past 4 and a half weeks to restore capacity within the debris flow mitigation systems.” says Electoral Area F Director Susan Clovechok.

“A sincere thank you goes out to the community of Fairmont. From dealing with the direct effects of the debris flow, to the ongoing impacts within the community during the clean-up process, all while we are in the midst of a pandemic, this has not been an easy time and we are grateful for your ongoing cooperation, patience and understanding.”

Two years ago, a debris flow mitigation system was completed on Fairmont Creek. While it is designed to contain as much debris as possible, it doesn’t eliminate the risk of debris flow events, according to the RDEK. An updated hazard-risk analysis is set to be completed this year, while work is expected to begin on looking at additional debris flow mitigation for Cold Spring Creek.

Cranbrook Townsman

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