Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Extreme Weather & Events ...

The month of June has been extraordinary in terms of extreme weather patterns across the country and tragically so here in the Kootenays, as well as the rest of B.C. With record rain falls in the West and searing heat in the East, extreme is the appropriate description indeed. Whether you believe in global warming, climate change, global cooling or whatever the current politically correct description of these events happens to be, there is certainly no denying that extreme weather events are having an impact on our modern society.
The recent flooding events across BC, particularly in the lower mainland and in places like Sicamous, demonstrates the devastating impact that a one in a hundred year weather event can have on a community’s infrastructure and its population. Families are displaced, property is lost and one’s sense of personal security is shaken. Children, the elderly and the infirm are especially impacted and can be overcome with feelings of powerlessness. The devastation which comes upon a community so quickly is often not fully dealt with for many months and in some cases years afterwards.
We as a community have certainly been impacted by the recent storms and flooding here in Trail. Property damage has been significant in some areas of town. East Trail, Sunningdale and West Trail have all experienced damages as a result of this past weekend’s storms. The City Works department worked tirelessly throughout the weekend to mitigate the damages and plan for any further complications that may arise if the expected weather pattern does not change. The Regional Fire Service of Kootenay Boundary assisted our public works crews on Saturday and their efforts are greatly appreciated.  I can assure the public that much work is taking place behind the scenes to repair and prepare for further events of this nature. While planning and preparedness does take place at a municipal level, I would be remiss if I did not mention that the public should also be preparing for unplanned weather events and emergencies of this type also. A good rule of thumb is to have a minimum of 72 hours worth of food, water, medication and personal affects stored in mobile containers. Living in the rugged terrain of the Kootenays, we all face a common foe in Mother Nature. Flooding, wildfires and snowstorms are just a few of the risks we contend with as the seasons turn each year. Being prepared for unforeseen events isn’t just a smart thing to do; it’s the right thing to do. Being self sufficient in an emergency situation allows first responders and emergency workers to assist others who are less prepared or able to cope with their sudden circumstances.
In closing I would like to remind residents to avoid areas where high water levels have impacted the stability of embankments, creeks and other waterways. Where unavoidable, take great caution in navigating these dangerous areas and please report any unstable conditions you may observe to the Public Works Department at 250.364.1262
Kevin Jolly
City of Trail

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