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Kootenay Lake residents warned of flood risk

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Property owners along Kootenay Lake are being warned to prepare for flooding late this month or in early June.

FortisBC and the Regional District of Central Kootenay say that due to above normal snowpack and delayed melt, there is an increased flood risk if temperatures rise substantially.

As of May 19, the lake level at Queens Bay was 1,743.52 feet. It’s expected to rise two to three feet over the next week, the organizations said in a joint statement.

Although lake levels are forecasted to remain below the 1,752-feet flood level, the lake is subject to large natural inflows of water as a result of melting snowpack and precipitation. This means conditions could change suddenly over the next few weeks.

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Power generation facilities like FortisBC’s Corra Linn Dam play a key role in managing lake levels. Since the beginning of March, FortisBC has discharged the maximum amount of water from Corra Linn. However, Grohman Narrows restricts water flowing out of Kootenay Lake.

Residents and businesses along Kootenay Lake are encouraged to keep a close eye on lake levels, assess what impact rising lake levels may have on their property and be prepared in case of a sudden rise in lake level, the statement said.

FortisBC provides daily updates on current and forecasted lake levels at fortisbc.com/lakelevel.

You’re urged to take steps to protect your home and property. For more information and sandbag locations go to rdck.ca/befloodprepared. To sign up for emergency notifications on floods and other local emergencies in the RDCK, visit rdck.ca/emergencynotification. To report a flood emergency contact the provincial coordination centre at 1-800-663-3456.

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