May 25, 2018
For Immediate Release
The City of Nelson continues to monitor rising Kootenay Lake levels; City crews work to mitigate impact of potential flooding
Nelson, BC - Warmer seasonal temperatures coupled with natural inflows of a significantly above average snow pack have brought about higher than normal lake levels. Predictions of lake levels provided by FortisBC on May 25th forecast an increase to exceed 1753 feet (534.3 meters) at Queens Bay by the end of May. Fire Chief Len MacCharles says that “In 2012, the lake reached the highest level since 1974 at 1753.8 ft (534.58 meters), and it is likely we will see similar lake levels this year”. “The City has taken a number of proactive steps since 2012 to help minimize the impacts of high water but we will still see some impacts. Our primary goals right now are public safety and protection of property and the environment.”
It is anticipated that lake levels in Nelson could rise another 12 -18 inches from their current level with the peak expected between next Wednesday May 30th and Friday June 1st. However Chief MacCharles says, “Things can change quickly, especially if we see a heavy rainfall either in Nelson or in our watersheds over the next few weeks.” For safety, the City is asking everyone to stay away from the lakeshore and along the banks of creeks until the water recedes.
City staff have observed that the natural wave action is eroding sections of the dog walk. As the water rises more areas that are normally high and dry will be prone to erosion. We are asking that boaters maintain “no wake” speed all along the lake to avoid damaging the unprotected shoreline and personal property.
The Supervisor of Parks and Public Works, Craig Stanley, reports that, “We’re assessing the sports fields at Lakeside Park frequently. We’ve met with the user groups and RDCK recreation management staff, to let them know we could be required to the close fields with minimal notice. If we do close the fields, we would inform the user groups and the community of the closure through email, the City’s website (nelson.ca), and social media. “Plans to reschedule games to other venues have been discussed with the user groups.
“Council would like to reassure residents and businesses that although lake levels are expected to rise in the coming week, we don’t anticipate any disruption to traffic flow down Lakeside Drive”, says Mayor Kozak. She adds “Our small business owners rely on all of us to support them and we encourage residents and visitors to shop at their favourite stores along Lakeside Drive and Hall Street. It is business as usual. “
Public areas currently or expected to be impacted by predicted lake levels:
Some of the actions taken by City staff to mitigate the impacts of flooding in Nelson:
City of Nelson: www.nelson.ca (includes information on flood preparedness)
Kootenay Lake Levels: http://webapp.fortisbc.com/lakelevel/lakes.jsp
Flood Preparedness and Sandbagging Tips: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/preparedbc/know-the-risks/floods
Len MacCharles, Fire Chief – (250) 352-3103