The RDEK is urging residents to be ready for the possibility of severe weather going into the weekend.

Saturday is forecast to have a strong cold front coming into the region, which can create thunderstorms, with the possibility of hail, heavy rain and strong winds.

According to the RDEK, 10 to 44 mm of rain is forecast across the East Kootenay over the weekend, with the possibility of an additional 10 to 15 mm with isolated storm cells.

“We know the cold front will be moving across the region. What we don’t know is exactly where the thunderstorm activity will be, how much rain might fall or how severe it may be,” said Information Officer Loree Duczek. “We can’t stress enough how important it is for people to be prepared in the event of an emergency. It’s not just about being prepared for flooding. At this time or year, there can be a number of unexpected impacts from severe weather and it is important for everyone to have a family emergency plan and to be prepared to sustain yourself for up to 72 hours.”

The RDEK said that those living near creeks, waterways, or areas that are at risk of flooding should take proactive steps to protect property.

Sandbag filling stations are placed throughout the region, and visitors are required to bring their own shovels and gloves.

Stations are currently established at the following locations:

  • Cranbrook – Public Works Yard
  • Kimberley – Centennial Hall
  • Fernie – Public Works Yard on Railway Avenue
  • Windermere – Fire Hall Parking Lot
  • Fairmont – The Old Barn at Fairmont Mountainside Golf Course
  • Moyie – RDEK Pump House

The RDEK encourages residents to enrol in its Evacuation notification System for the East Kootenay to receive quick alerts for any emergency situation.