City of Fernie Flood Response
June 1, 2020
*Updated June 3, 2020 to reflect re-opening of some parks and trails.
Water levels are currently at seasonal highs for the Elk River and Coal Creek.
To ensure public safety, the City closed the following areas that are impacted by high water levels:
- James White Park (closed completely to all vehicle and pedestrian traffic) (Re-opened June 3)
- Low-lying areas of the Annex Park.
- Lower road to Dogwood Park (3rd St. from 4A Ave. to 6 Ave.) (Re-opened June 2)
- Sections of the Town Loop Trail
- Park Ave. Bridge to James White Park (Re-opened June 3)
- Underpass trail under West Fernie Bridge on North Side of Elk River (Re-opned June 3)
- Trail along Elk River north of Maiden Lake towards Golf Course remains open, with localized area of erosion signed and fenced
A log jam that was impacting the flow on Coal Creek has been cleared. This has enabled us to re-open the Montane Trailhead Parking Lot and the following sections of the Town Loop Trail:
- Park Ave. Bridge to Cokato Rd.
- Dogwood Park Boat Launch to Park Ave. Bridge
Signage and barricades have been set up to mark closures. For your own safety, please ensure you are respecting all signage and closures.
City of Fernie staff is continuing daily monitoring which includes visual checks at low-lying areas and measurements at set annual freshet monitoring locations.
Each spring during freshet, a City of Fernie Flood Response Committee is formed to ensure that the appropriate monitoring and measuring is occurring and the tools are in place to activate our Flood Response Plan to quickly and effectively respond to any flood situations.
The City’s Flood Response Plan guides the response to rising water levels and ensures that the necessary precautions are in place at each level.
Water levels on the Elk River are nearing 3.5 metres, and the committee is implementing the required precautions including closures in at risk areas, ensuring that we have staff scheduled for around the clock monitoring, and the requisite number of sandbags filled and ready to deploy if necessary.
Now is a good time to refresh on what you can do to be prepared in the event of a flood.
It’s important to ensure that you are flood ready, and have a grab and go bag packed in case you are required to leave your home.
If you haven't already, sign up to Regional District of East Kootenay’s emergency notification system to ensure you receive any local evacuation alerts and orders.
For anyone who lives in an area that is prone to flooding, there is a public sandbagging station set up near the Operations Facility at 1492 Railway Avenue.
The sandbag stations have sand and bags, you just need to bring your own shovels and gloves. Sandbags should be filled ½ to ¾ full with the ends folded over for best compaction and effectiveness when placing them. There is signage in place with guidelines for using the station during COVID-19.