Jul 4, 2012 / 7:29 pm
A local state of emergency has been declared in an area of southeast BC after a dam holding back a tailings pond for an old lead-zinc mine began leaking.
The Regional District of Central Kootenay issued the declaration for the Nelson-Salmo area over concerns that part of the retaining wall for the old Hudson's Bay mine tailings pond had been washed away by heavy rains.
Bill MacPherson of the regional district's emergency operations centre said Wednesday that engineers were working on plans to shore up the dam.
He said rumours the dam could collapse were exaggerated.
"That's obviously a worst-case scenario and that's not where it's at right now," said Macpherson.
"It's dependent on the weather and the weather is favourable."
The dam is not the only point of concern in the region, where heavy rain and flood waters have swamped a road, threatened a bridge, forced the evacuation of at least one home and pushed Kootenay Lake to it's highest level in 40 years.
Macpherson said the area downstream from the dam is sparsely populated and the emergency declaration for the area remains in effect.
"I know it's in place for at least a week, that's just a matter of course," he said.
"It'll depend on the assessment and what remediation measures can be taken (before the declaration is lifted)."
Elsewhere in BC, flood warnings remain in effect for the Shuswap, South Thompson and Stuart Rivers and related lakes.
The BC River Forecast Centre says Shuswap Lake in the Central Interior continues to fall and should drop below flood stage by next week, but the Stuart River northwest of Prince George will continue to rise for up to three more weeks.
Read more BC News
- Get hooked (for free) this Father's Day
- Police investigate Surrey shooting
- Hotel staff find dead body
- A cherry of a deal with China
- Cyclist killed near Kamloops
- SUV crashes off Mayne Island
- Man and woman hurt in double shooting
- Pipeline spill southwest of Merritt
- Charges laid in skateboard assault case
- Pipeline backlash following latest spill
- Crash of small plane claims lone pilot
- Woman gives birth at Richmond mall
(Click for RSS instructions.)