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Fairmont Creek Debris Flow Mitigiation Project Put to Test

The Regional District of East Kootenay is proud of the Fairmont Creek Debris Flow Mitigation Project, which recently pulled through its first real test following a heavy downpour in the community.

Recently completing the project, numerous debris traps were installed at differing locations along Fairmont Creek, and the channel was widened in certain sections.

“The debris traps were designed to collect and hold debris and all collected varying amounts of material during heavy rains on the weekend of August 12,” said Brian Funke, RDEK Engineering Services Manager. “Although there was some localized water in a few areas, the debris traps did their job.”

The RDEK said the first debris trap along Fairmont Creek was nearly full, while some of the other traps along Fairmont Creek also reported small amounts of debris.

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According to the regional district, the Fairmont Creek debris traps were about five to 10% full after the debris flow on August 12th. On Cold Spring Creek, the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort’s reservoir was 100% full of debris while lower debris trap near the Columbia River had an additional 25% more debris.

Funke said they are currently working with the B.C. Government to get some financial assistance to remove the built-up debris from the Fairmont debris traps, the Cold Spring reservoir, Cold Spring Creek, and the lower Cold Spring Creek debris trap.

The RDEK completed three different phases on the Fairmont Creek Debris Flow Mitigation Project over the last four years, all to create storage space for debris flow material by removing materials from Fairmont Creek, increasing storage capacity, and building large weirs to hold the debris.

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