Ice Jam Update: Water channels are starting to form

The weekend forecast of a warming trend is expected to create more visible channels, and water levels will return to seasonal levels.

Improvements to the ice buildup and water flow within the Kicking Horse River upstream of the highway 95 bridge are visible during the afternoon of Friday December 5 2014. Water channels are forming, showing clean water flow with minimal frazzle ice.

Ice coverage around Gould’s Island is slowly receding below the dyke walls and small visible channels are starting to form on both sides of the island.  An additional machine has been deployed to help open the Gould’s Island south channel.  This location allows for safer effective machine operations that could quickly improve the overall flow of the river.

The Environment Canada extended forecast for the weekend is calling for a warming trend through the weekend continuing into next week.  With the warmer temperatures it is anticipated that additional visible channels will form on the lower river and water levels within the dyke will return to seasonal levels.

“At this point in time seepage from the standing water within the dyke walls is the largest concern for residents and business owners,” states Mayor Ron Oszust.  “Today’s machine efforts on the north side of the Kicking Horse River have opened a channel from the Columbia confluence to the pedestrian bridge.  Water is presently flowing within this channel and should expedite drainage of the standing water within the dyke infrastructure.”

Safety remains a priority and public are encouraged to keep a safe distance from the Kicking Horse River as sudden movements of ice and materials within the river are possible and unpredictable.

The Golden Emergency Operations Centre remains activated to a level 1 capacity.  At this time it is deemed unnecessary to issue any flood alerts or evacuation orders. Public are reminded to respect any posted closures and stay away from all machinery in the area.

Additional updates will be provided as the situation changes.