City of Revelstoke staff clear a blocked culvert near the Revelstoke Railway Museum on the morning of May 17. City engineering director Brian Mallett says city officials are prepared for the flood season.

City of Revelstoke staff clear a blocked culvert near the Revelstoke Railway Museum on the morning of May 17. City engineering director Brian Mallett says city officials are prepared for the flood season.

City emergency operations ready for potential flooding

Small floods on May 17 were a reminder to city officials that the flood season is here.

Small floods on May 17 were a reminder to city officials that the flood season is here.

The first incident was near the Revelstoke Railway Museum and impacted CP Rail’s main line. The second was on Westside Road at the site of the May 3 mudslide

Engineering director Brian Mallett updated city council on the situation at a 3 p.m. meeting on May 17.

He said the blocked culverts near the railway museum were dealt with that morning and Westside Road was open to single lane alternating traffic.

Mallett said city staff had dusted off flood plans and were taking general flood prevention steps. Plans had been reviewed with emergency operations staff.

“We are going through and collecting flood inundation mapping,” Mallett said. “We do have sandbags on palettes.”

Mallett said the Illecillewaet River is not expected to flood. Snowpack was above average, but is only at about 110 per cent. He noted protective dikes run alongside the river in the city. “The river should be able to handle it,” he said. Peak flows in the Illecillewaet River are not expected for another two or three weeks.

Mallett said the main concerns were Revelstoke’s perimeter along Westside Road and at the foot of Mount Revelstoke. “It [is] anybody’s guess as to when we see some action there, if at all,” Mallett said.

In the event of a flood situation, Mallett said public communications would flow through several sources. The city’s website would be updated with notices. In the event of a heightened emergency situation, updates will be posted on the city’s emergency webpage at www.revemergency.com. The local radio station will be notified, as will online news sources like www.revelstoketimesreview.com.

Mallett also warned residents to be careful around culverts and to leave clearing them to professionals. Water pressure can suck you into them. Likewise, be careful with your pets around them.

He also cautioned residents to look out for new erosion when walking on trails next to riverbanks, and take appropriate precautions.

UPDATE, May 19

The story above was posted May 18. On the morning of May 19 the City of Revelstoke sent out the following media advisory, which has some additional info. In their own words, here’s what the city had to say:

The City of Revelstoke reminds the public that it is flood season.

Flooding is a natural occurrence this time of year.  Increasing the risk is the warm weather melting the snowpack at higher elevations along with alternating rain.

City staff will be monitoring the Illecillewaet River and culverts located in creeks during the freshet.  The City does not anticipate evacuations.  Should you view plugged culverts or have concern with creeks and rivers overflowing, please contact Public Works at 250-837-2001 during regular work hours or by calling 911 in case of emergency.

Take caution by keeping back from creeks and rivers as rushing water can undermine banks.  Teach your children about flood safety.

It is prudent to have an emergency plan for your household.  Information about personal emergency preparedness is available at www.pep.bc.ca.

The City will advise the public of any flood advisories through the local radio and news media.  Additionally, the public can also find any flood advisories on the City’s website at www.cityofrevelstoke.com and the City and Columbia Shuswap Regional District Area ‘B’ emergency website at www.revemergency.com.