At the time of this release on Saturday December 6th at 4:00pm the Emergency Management Team is happy to report that the Ice Jam tension is receding, and much of the standing water within the dike walls is moving downstream into the Columbia River.
Larger visible channels have formed, opening up the river flow upstream of highway 95 bridge with very little evidence of pooling, or standing water present in this section of the river.
Ice and standing water downstream of the highway 95 bridge is also showing significant signs of improvement, with the ice coverage slowly collapsing around the current water channels within the dike walls. Water appears to be flowing well under the existing ice coverage.
Machine efforts conducted yesterday afternoon and this morning focused on opening a channel on the south side of the river, stretching from Gould’s Island down the river to Fisher road. Heavy equipment remains on standby, but is not deployed at this time.
“The recent warming trend has provided some positive results for the river and surrounding properties,” states Mayor Ron Oszust. “Reports from various property owners who have been affected by seepage are stating that the water flow has stopped or reduced significantly within the past 24hrs. On behalf of council and staff we would like to thank the affected members of the community for their patience in dealing with this frustrating situation. Your local government intends to continue conversations regarding what we can do at the political level and leverage support.”
The Environment Canada extended forecast is calling for the present warming trend to continue well into next week with highs of +5C anticipated by Tuesday. With these warmer temperatures, it is expected that visible channels will be forming through the entire dike system, and water levels return to seasonal levels. Snowfall is forecasted for the higher elevations with minimal effects anticipated for the existing water flow in the community.
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. 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 significantly. At this time it is deemed unnecessary to issue any flood alerts or evacuation orders.