Posts Tagged ‘ freshet ’

What Happens After a Washout Hits a Highway

washout and recovery

Everybody loves spring. I mean, what’s not to like about balmy afternoons and BC in bloom? But as wonderful as spring can be, it also has a wild side (called freshet), as rapidly melting snowpack can oversaturate the ground supporting and surrounding roads, causing washouts. Washout damage often appears devastating – just look at the washout that closed Highway 33 south of Kelowna in April 2018 (above). It looked like it could take weeks to make it safe for...

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The Old Kootenay River Channel Bridge

The Old Kootenay River Channel Bridge

The Old Kootenay River Channel Bridge, or Old Kootenay Bridge as it is commonly referred to, is just west of Creston on Highway 3. If you’ve never been there before, you can see it here on Google Maps. It’s a straight, two-lane bridge about 300 metres long and runs over the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area – a very sensitive wetlands ecosystem that’s home to a large number of hooved animals, lizards, amphibians and water birds. Like any bridge,...

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Clearing Your Paths: 5 Big Highway Clean-Ups of 2012

Clearing Your Paths: 5 Big Highway Clean-Ups of 2012

Mother Nature can be harsh on B.C. highways. From rock, snow and ice, to water, mud and debris of various kinds, she packs a serious punch. As much as we guard against floods, slides, and the like, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, along with our maintenance crews, are inevitably confronted with big clean-up jobs every year. We had our fair share of challenges in 2012. Here are five major highway clean-ups from the last 12 months: One serious...

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Resisting the Rising Waters – Flood Preparation and Response

In a recent post, we’ve talked about spring freshet. But what happens when water levels start to rise? As we mentioned in the previous article, the River Forecast Centre monitors snow levels throughout the winter and, as the weather warms, we generally have a good idea of how much potential there is for flooding in different parts of B.C. That knowledge helps crews determine the amount of sand, gravel and rock that may be needed to protect our transportation...

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What is a Freshet? Hint: It’s Not an Air Freshener

So, what is freshet? While it sounds like it could be a brand of scented cleaner or facial tissue, freshet is the snow melt that typically occurs from April to July, in B.C. Freshet can become a problem when winter snow packs melt rapidly, overwhelming stream channels and creating floods. Happily, freshet flooding can usually be forecast by monitoring snow packs and weather, and examining stream capacity data. In the event of a flood threat or actual flood, the...

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