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Fairmont State of Local Emergency lifted

The State of Local Emergency in Fairmont Hot Springs has been lifted after a debris flow event that happened over a month ago created a flood risk to several properties.

The RDEK said that crews have been working to clear debris traps along Fairmont Creek, with all three now being restored to 100% capacity as of Friday evening.

“There will be additional minor clean up and work required next week; however, there will be no active hauling or excavation this weekend,” said Information Officer, Loree Duczek. “Additional debris removal and repair work will continue on both creeks throughout the summer.”

The RDEK enacted the State of Local Emergency after heavy rains caused debris to flow into both creeks on May 31st created a flood risk for a few properties near the creek. According to the RDEK, mitigation measures were effective, in that no lives were lost and nobody was permanently displaced, although major clean-up work was still required in the area.

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“This is another significant day in Fairmont. I would like to thank the staff, contractors, emergency program personnel, and Resort for their incredible work over the past 4 and a half weeks to restore capacity within the debris flow mitigation systems,” said Electoral Area F Director Susan Clovechok. “A sincere thank you goes out to the community of Fairmont. From dealing with the direct effects of the debris flow, to the ongoing impacts within the community during the clean-up process, all while we are in the midst of a pandemic, this has not been an easy time and we are grateful for your ongoing cooperation, patience and understanding.”

Observations made after debris flow events in 2012 and 2013 led the RDEK to determine that the Fairmont Creek watershed will be subject to further debris flow, which will be exasperated by the effects of climate change.

The Fairmont Creek Debris Flow Mitigation System was completed in 2018, and while it is designed to contain as much as possible, it does not completely eliminate the risk of large scale debris events.

“Due to climate change, we can expect more frequent and severe weather events. This year, the RDEK is completing an updated hazard-risk analysis and will begin work on engineering and design of an additional debris flow mitigation system for Cold Spring Creek,” said the RDEK.

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