Over the past weekend, the Town of Golden again experience two significant ice-floes from the Kicking Horse River. Ground assessments have confirmed all ice is holding well within the dyke walls, river flow is steady, and there are no immediate threats to the existing dyke infrastructure.
Authorities from the Golden and area Emergency Management Program, the Town of Golden, Ministry of Transportation, Emergency Management BC, RCMP, Golden Fire Department, and Golden & District Search and Rescue are all aware of the situation and presently monitoring the river in partnership.
Ice build up is not uncommon on the Kicking Horse River, and the Town has had to provide “Ice Jam Updates” several times over the last few years.
“Yet again the Kicking Horse River has been subject to an ice jam at this time of year,” said Mayor Ron Oszust. “This year’s situation is comparable to the 2013 ice jam, with less volume and limited frazil ice. This event is much more favourable to the 2014 event as the larger chucks of ice are easier for heavy equipment to move if the water and ice threaten the top of the dyking infrastructure. Water is presently within dyke walls but we continue to monitor its presence over top of the ice.”
The seven-day forecast is relatively unchanging. The Weather Network is predicting highs of -16, -19, and -18 over the next three days, with the temperatures starting to warm up after the weekend. Warmer weather would provide a more favourable condition for the water to better channelize through the jam.
Public safety is a priority for the municipality and emergency services, and people are encouraged to keep a safe distance from the Kicking Horse River as sudden movements of ice and materials within the river are very possible and unpredictable.
The regional dyke inspector and flood assessor have been asked to visit the area. Updates will continue as the situation changes.