General

Wet weather triggers mudslides in RDCK

Part of the Loon Lake road slid away Thursday. Traffic on the highway (31) through Ainsworth does not appear to be impacted, however, flaggers are onsite. — Photo courtesy RDCK

The incredibly wet spring weather continues to wreak havoc on area roads in the Regional District of Central Kootenay with reports Thursday of slides near New Denver and Ainsworth.

Early Thursday, the RDCK reported a mudslide near New Denver that cut off five homes from access near Highway 6.

The slide occurred south of New Denver in the vicinity of 6934 Highway 6.

Later in the day the RDCK reported a slide below 3430 Loon Lake Road south of Ainsworth.

The slide forced the evacuation of one residence.  

The RDCK reported Loon Lake Road has been heavily damaged due to heavy water flow in the vicinity.
 
"Traffic on the highway (31) through Ainsworth does not appear to be impacted, however, flaggers are onsite," the RDCK media release said.

"Motorists are advised to exercise caution."
 
No reports of injuries or structural damage have been received.

The RDCK also reported a slide Thursday on Hanson Road in Ainsworth.

Meanwhile, the RDCK said the Deer Park Forestry Service Road would remain closed until at least Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

Wednesday night Kootenay Pass on Highway 3 was closed due to a mudslide west of Creston. Traffic detoured to Kootenay Lake Ferry which remained operational through the night.

The highwas was re-opened to single lane, alternating traffic Thursday and fully operational by the evening.
 
RDCK emergency management personnel are headed to the site to assess the situation near Ainsworth.

Information will be released to the public when available.

The increase in flooding and slide events in the region forced the RDCK to activate its Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).

Mudslide cuts off access to homes near New Denver

Five homes have been cut off from access after a slide near Highway 6 near New Denver Thursday.

The Regional District of Central Kootenay said in a media release the slide immediately south of New Denver has cut off access to five or six homes in the vicinity of 6934 Highway 6.

"The slide has crossed a private road and slid within 25 feet of Highway 6 but has not reached the corridor," the release said.

"The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has dispatched a geotechnical expert to access the slope to determine stability."

The RDCK said current estimates are that up to 200 tandem truckloads of material will need to be removed from the site in order to restore access to the residences.

"No one has been injured nor have any structures been damaged."

RDCK emergency management personnel are onsite.

Meanwhile, the RDCK said the Deer Park Forestry Service Road will remain closed until at least Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

The RDCK said the road was closed after heavy water flow caused part of the road to slide into the lake at kilometre 7.2. The road has been deemed unsafe for vehicular travel by a geotechnical expert.

Eighteen full time residents of Deer Park are affected by the closure, as are property owners in Renata

“The RDCK is currently working with Deer Park residents and emergency social services personnel to assist the community with any help it may need,” says Andrew Bellerby, EOC Director and General Manager of Fire and Emergency Services.

“Our public’s safety is paramount.”

Once the damage to the road has been remediated and declared safe for travel, the RDCK will update the public.

Province to re-invest licence revenue back into wildlife management activities

The agency subsequently would be supported by hunting licence revenues of $9 million to $10 million each year.

As part of the Province’s long-standing commitment to healthy wildlife populations, Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson announced Wednesday that all hunting licence revenue will be re-invested to enhance wildlife management activities.

Based on input from stakeholders over the last few years, the government will form a new agency in fall 2017 with startup funds of $5 million. The agency subsequently would be supported by hunting licence revenues of $9 million to $10 million each year.

B.C.’s tourism sector off to great start in 2017

The latest numbers from Statistics Canada from January 2017 indicate a 9.2% increase over the same month in 2016.

In the first month of 2017, international visitor arrival numbers continue to show positive signs of growth for the booming tourism sector in British Columbia.

The latest numbers from Statistics Canada from January 2017 indicate a 9.2% increase over the same month in 2016, resulting in 23,427 more visitors arriving in B.C. 

Other notable increases for January (over January 2016) include:

Open Letter from Anglican Church to Senator Lynn Beyak

Open Letter from Anglican Church to Senator Lynn Beyak

Senator Lynn Beyak's complaint that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) "didn't focus on the good" done by Canada's residential schools has provoked calls for her resignation, and some people wonder how she is qualified to sit on the Senate's Aboriginal Peoples Committee.

New campsites, park rangers expected for Kootenay-Boundary region this year

The construction of new sites includes any associated infrastructure, such as roads, water/sewer expansion, electrical upgrades, shower/toilet buildings and outhouse facilities.

The province will be increasing the number of rangers in the field and campsites in the parks of the Kootenay-Boundary region this year, says an Environment department spokesperson.

David Karn said employing more ranger staff will not only improve the ecological integrity and safety in the region’s parks, it will create employment and skills training opportunities in the Kootenay-Boundary.

Want actual facts about climate change? They're available.

Want actual facts about climate change? They're available.

We recently highlighted the faulty logic of a pseudoscientific argument against addressing climate change: the proposition that because CO2 is necessary for plants, increasing emissions is good for the planet and the life it supports. Those who read, write or talk regularly about climate change and ecology are familiar with other anti-environmental arguments not coated with a scientific sheen.

Column: Time to change tune of that song

South Okanagan-West Kootenay MP Richard Cannings

Last week I decided to write this column about income tax.  Not only is it tax time for all of us, but the KPMG tax scam story was in the news, and the Liberals had just voted with the NDP on our opposition day motion to rid Canada of tax measures that benefit only the very wealthy.

Balfour drinking water system project gets green light under CWWF

Balfour water system part of $373.2 million allotted for 144 new projects.

The community of Balfour, located 40 kilometers north of Nelson, is one of 144 new projects in British Columbia through the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF).

Recently, Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and the Honourable Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, announced a combined $373.2 million for 144 new projects.

The federal government is providing up to 50 per cent of funding — more than $186.6 million — and the Province is investing nearly $123.2 million.

UPDATED: Mudslides slow traffic on Highways 3, 6, & 31

Highway 3 west of Creston is now open to single-lane traffic. — Photo courtesy WK District MOTI

DriveBC is now reporting a mudslide on Highway 6 south of New Denver Sunday afternoon.

Traffic has been reduced to single alternating with information that motorists can expect delays.

Mudslides slow traffic on Highways 3, 31

DriveBC reporting that Highway 3, 10 kilometers west of Creston, is now open to single lane alternating traffic following a mudslide Saturday.

The mudslide happened three kilometers west of Kootenay Pass east gate.

The deluge of precipitation during the past 48 hours also caused a mudslide 12 kilometers north of Coffee Creek Bridge.

West Kootenay Fly Fishing Symposium goes this weekend

Pictured, L-R, John Jenner of Columbia Power, symposium organizer and West Kootenay Fly Fishing Club president, Rod Zavaduk and club vice-president, Steve Sandesky. — Submitted photo

Columbia Power is a sponsor of the 18th annual West Kootenay Fly Fishing Symposium taking place Saturday and Sunday (March 25-26), at the Castlegar Recreation Complex.

The event is free to the public and includes a variety of activities for young and old including casting demos, kids’ fly tying, a speaker series and displays including the Ministry of Environment’s mobile inspection and decontamination unit for invasive mussels.

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