Fairmont Debris Flow Mitigation

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On October 29, the RDEK will be hosting two sessions - one at 2:00 pm and one at 7:00 pm - to present the plans for Phase 1 of the Cold Spring Creek Debris Flow Mitigation Project and the recent hazard assessment that was completed on Cold Spring Creek. The hazard assessment will be presented by BGC Engineering, who will be presenting via Zoom from the lower mainland.

The same information will be shared in each session, so you only need attend one. And, if you are unable to attend, a recording of the meeting will be posted on the project page the first week of November.

How to participate:

  • VIA ZOOM- the meetings will be done electronically, so you can participate from wherever you are.
  • IN PERSON - for residents within the Fairmont Flood & Landslide Service Area, without access to a computer or who are not comfortable with the technology, there will be limited seating available at the Columbia Valley Centre located at 646 4th Street in Invermere. COVID protocols will be in place. Pre-registration is required by contacting Shaun Hunt at the RDEK Cranbrook office at 1-888-478-7335 by 2pm October 28. There will be no admission for those who have not pre-registered.

We are encouraging the use of zoom for anyone who has access to use it, so there is more room for those without computer access. The experience will be the same no matter how you attend.

For those unable to attend, a recording of the meetings will be posted on this project the first week of November.

General Overview:

The RDEK has debris flow mitigation infrastructure on both Fairmont Creek and Cold Spring Creek in Fairmont. They are regularly inspected and maintained as needed.

In 2018, the RDEK completed a multi-phase mitigation project on Fairmont Creek. Debris flow mitigation on Cold Spring Creek was identified as a priority project by the RDEK Board in its 2019/2020 Strategic Plan.

In October 2019, the RDEK applied for $750,000 in funding from the Union of BC Municipalities Community Emergency Preparedness Fund Structural Flood Mitigation Program for a debris flow mitigation project on Cold Spring Creek. The funding was awarded in March 2020. $150,000 in reserves were added to the project to bring the budget to $900,000.

The engineering contract was awarded to McElhanney on May 29, 2020. As part McElhanney’s proposal, they partnered with Dr. Mattias Jakob of BCG Engineering to update the hazard assessment for Cold Spring Creek, which he presented to the Board on October 1. The assessment determined that previous studies underestimated the potential for damaging debris flows. As a result, the RDEK has taken immediate action to widen the scope of the Cold Spring Creek project. The consultants have completed a conceptual design for a debris flow containment net that could collect approximately 20,000 cubic metres of debris. The total cost for this phase is now estimated to be $1.375 million.

On October 2, 2020 the RDEK Board approved $275,000 in new Community Works funding and the re-allocation of $200,000 that was previously approved for the Swansea Road watermain project to ensure funding is in place and Phase 1 can be completed.

The assessment report can be found under the Documents section on this project page. This assessment is quite different from the previous assessment that was competed in 2015 and shows that the hazard has been understated in the past.

The mitigation on Cold Spring Creek will be completed in several phases. The design for Phase 1 is currently underway with construction expected to occur in 2021. Future phase(s) will occur as funding becomes available and we are actively pursuing funding opportunities.

For more information on Fairmont debris flow mitigation, please contact Kara Zandbergen at kzandbergen@rdek.bc.ca or 1-888-478-7335 in our Cranbrook RDEK office.

On October 29, the RDEK will be hosting two sessions - one at 2:00 pm and one at 7:00 pm - to present the plans for Phase 1 of the Cold Spring Creek Debris Flow Mitigation Project and the recent hazard assessment that was completed on Cold Spring Creek. The hazard assessment will be presented by BGC Engineering, who will be presenting via Zoom from the lower mainland.

The same information will be shared in each session, so you only need attend one. And, if you are unable to attend, a recording of the meeting will be posted on the project page the first week of November.

How to participate:

  • VIA ZOOM- the meetings will be done electronically, so you can participate from wherever you are.
  • IN PERSON - for residents within the Fairmont Flood & Landslide Service Area, without access to a computer or who are not comfortable with the technology, there will be limited seating available at the Columbia Valley Centre located at 646 4th Street in Invermere. COVID protocols will be in place. Pre-registration is required by contacting Shaun Hunt at the RDEK Cranbrook office at 1-888-478-7335 by 2pm October 28. There will be no admission for those who have not pre-registered.

We are encouraging the use of zoom for anyone who has access to use it, so there is more room for those without computer access. The experience will be the same no matter how you attend.

For those unable to attend, a recording of the meetings will be posted on this project the first week of November.

General Overview:

The RDEK has debris flow mitigation infrastructure on both Fairmont Creek and Cold Spring Creek in Fairmont. They are regularly inspected and maintained as needed.

In 2018, the RDEK completed a multi-phase mitigation project on Fairmont Creek. Debris flow mitigation on Cold Spring Creek was identified as a priority project by the RDEK Board in its 2019/2020 Strategic Plan.

In October 2019, the RDEK applied for $750,000 in funding from the Union of BC Municipalities Community Emergency Preparedness Fund Structural Flood Mitigation Program for a debris flow mitigation project on Cold Spring Creek. The funding was awarded in March 2020. $150,000 in reserves were added to the project to bring the budget to $900,000.

The engineering contract was awarded to McElhanney on May 29, 2020. As part McElhanney’s proposal, they partnered with Dr. Mattias Jakob of BCG Engineering to update the hazard assessment for Cold Spring Creek, which he presented to the Board on October 1. The assessment determined that previous studies underestimated the potential for damaging debris flows. As a result, the RDEK has taken immediate action to widen the scope of the Cold Spring Creek project. The consultants have completed a conceptual design for a debris flow containment net that could collect approximately 20,000 cubic metres of debris. The total cost for this phase is now estimated to be $1.375 million.

On October 2, 2020 the RDEK Board approved $275,000 in new Community Works funding and the re-allocation of $200,000 that was previously approved for the Swansea Road watermain project to ensure funding is in place and Phase 1 can be completed.

The assessment report can be found under the Documents section on this project page. This assessment is quite different from the previous assessment that was competed in 2015 and shows that the hazard has been understated in the past.

The mitigation on Cold Spring Creek will be completed in several phases. The design for Phase 1 is currently underway with construction expected to occur in 2021. Future phase(s) will occur as funding becomes available and we are actively pursuing funding opportunities.

For more information on Fairmont debris flow mitigation, please contact Kara Zandbergen at kzandbergen@rdek.bc.ca or 1-888-478-7335 in our Cranbrook RDEK office.

  • Cold Spring Creek Project Scope Expands Following New Hazard Assessment

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    05 Oct 2020
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    A debris flood expert has completed an updated hazard assessment on Cold Spring Creek in Fairmont Hot Springs and has presented his findings to the RDEK Board.

    Dr. Mattias Jakob of BGC Engineering assessed the watershed this summer as part of the RDEK’s Cold Spring Creek Debris Flow Mitigation Project. The study details the historical evidence of debris flood and debris flow activity going back hundreds of years and provides updated modeling on the potential size of future events. “The report highlights that previous studies underestimated the potential for risk,” says Electoral Area F Director Susan Clovechok. “As a result, the RDEK has taken immediate action to widen the scope of the Cold Spring Creek project and will now be working with Dr. Jakob and the community to clarify the risks, share risk reduction recommendations and identify appropriate mitigation measures.”

    Community meetings will be scheduled in the near future and details will be shared with the community as soon as the meeting dates are confirmed. A project page has been created on engage.rdek.bc.ca, and includes links to the reports related to the Cold Spring Creek project. New information will continue to be added to the project page moving forward.

    The Cold Spring Creek project was identified as a priority by the Board during its 2020 Strategic Planning process late last year. In March, the RDEK was awarded $750,000 through the Union of BC Municipalities Community Emergency Preparedness Fund Structural Flood Mitigation Program. An additional $150,000 was allocated from the Fairmont Flood and Landslide Service Area reserves to bring the project total to $900,000. Completing an updated risk assessment was one of the first steps in the process.

    While the original intent of the project was to address the debris flood hazard, with the increased potential for damaging debris flows, the RDEK will be prioritizing debris flow mitigation in the first phase of the project, which is now expected to involve multiple phases. “We felt it was important to share the report as soon as possible with the community and are taking immediate steps to expand the scope of the project to encompass a solution that will add a more robust level of protection in the event of a debris flow,” says RDEK Electoral Area F Director Susan Clovechok.

    The consultants have completed a conceptual design for a debris flow containment net and the total cost for this phase is estimated to be $1.375 million. “Dr. Jakob’s assessment has given us new understanding and we recognize the importance of making Phase 1 of this project happen as seamlessly as possible. Today the Board approved $275,000 in new Community Works funding and the re-allocation of $200,000 that was previously approved for the Swansea Road watermain project to ensure funding is in place and Phase 1 can be completed.”

    With a potential cost of $11 million dollars for future phases of the project, the RDEK will also be seeking out additional funding sources and will be engaging with the property owners within the Fairmont Flood and Landslide Service Area regarding the likely need for future borrowing to help fund the project.

    “This is the beginning of what will be detailed and ongoing communication with residents and property owners,” stresses Clovechok. “Our next step will be the community meetings, which we hope to have scheduled soon.”