The trouble in Fairmont Hot Springs is far from over as crews battle to return the creek to its natural channel.
On Tuesday night, two days after a mudslide tore through the resort community, temporarily stranding 600 people, Fairmont Creek again burst its banks.
"Overnight the creek broke out of its channel again and started flowing mostly near the Mountainside Villa Area E Block. The water is then flowing into the pond and back into the channel. Crews are working to repair the break out and hope to have that done today," reports Loree Duczek, Columbia Valley Emergency Program Information Officer.
At around 4:45 p.m. on Sunday, July 15, a backlog in Fairmont Creek nears its alpine source burst, sending boulders, logs and mud through the resort, where it burst its banks and poured through the community.
Campers at the RV park at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort were marooned over night when the road into the campsite was flooded. A new road was built Monday, freeing the campers about 2:30 p.m.
But since then, the creek has continued to have a mind of its own, carving new paths through the community. On Tuesday morning, near the Marble Canyon subdivision, the creek again jumped its channel where the bank had crumbled, meaning work crews needed to install rock reinforcement in the area.
Regional district contractors have their work cut out for them, Duczek continued.
"When the initial event occurred on Sunday afternoon, the debris torrent carved the channel as it moved downstream. The debris has pushed water in numerous different directions and our main priority remains getting the original Fairmont Creek channel cleared of debris so that we can re-establish the channel and keep all the water flowing within it."
This work needs to be done from where the creek meets the Columbia River, to the top of the debris field way up in the alpine so that once the debris is cleared, the water will flow the right way into the river.
"As soon as the area was deemed safe on Sunday night, we had a contractor on site beginning the work at the highway. They've been working all day from dawn to dark since and we are making progress in that lower level (they have cleared from the highway to the area near the pond at the golf course). This is going to take time, but we are working as quickly as we can.
"Unfortunately, the water upstream continues to find its way around debris outside the creek channel and is constantly shifting and changing. As it does that, it can lead to sudden and unpredictable changes in water patterns."
There is good news, though: three days after the slide, the RCMP have still heard no reports of overdue traveller or missing persons in the area.
Still, the RCMP want to be sure.
"The Fairmont area of British Columbia is an internationally known travel destination with visitors from coast to coast and around the world. We ask all tourists that were in the Fairmont area to contact their families and loved ones to ensure that all are accounted for," said Cpl. Dan Moskaluk.
RCMP helicopters have been on hand since the slide to provide aerial services to incident command.
"Throughout the response the RCMP has had between six and 12 members including the SED Traffic Services and Police Services Dog team (on hand)," said Cpl. Moskaluk.
He gave special mention to an RCMP sergeant from Nunavut who just happened to be vacationing at the RV park when it was cut off by the mudslide.
"Off-duty Iqaluit RCMP Staff Sergeant Neil Pearson was amongst the campers who were cut off. Although holidaying, S/Sgt Pearson went into 'cop mode' and was of great assistance to the those stranded and kept the responders up-to-date on the safety and wellbeing of the 600 stranded campers," said Moskaluk.
Meanwhile, in Johnsons Landing, crews continue to search for the remaining two people buried under a devastating landslide that hit the isolated Kootenay Lake community last Thursday, July 12.
The body of 60-year-old Valentine Webber was recovered on Sunday, and the remains of one of his daughters were found the following day. Authorities have only said the remains of a young female were found Monday and have not confirmed whether the woman was 17-year-old Rachel Webber or 22-year-old Diana Webber.
One of the Webber girls remains unaccounted for, as does longtime summer resident Petra Frehse, 64.
On Tuesday, there were 24 searchers divided into two teams at the site, located along Kootenay Lake more than 200 kilometres southwest of Calgary. They were focusing their efforts on the area where the other two bodies were found and around the foundation of the cabin where Frehse lived.
"Because we did find two victims in the last couple of days, it did encourage us," said Barb McLintock for the BC Coroner's Service, which is co-ordinating the recovery efforts in the hamlet northeast of Nelson, B.C.
"Relief is the best word. There are no happy endings in this. What we're trying to do is give the families as much closure as possible."
And the troubles have kept coming. On Tuesday night, the West Kootenay was drenched by as much as 50 mm of rain in just a few hours.
Highway 3A between Castlegar and Nelson was closed until Wednesday morning as a precaution when muddy, debris-laden water gushed from a nearby creek, raising fears of a possible landslide.
But all sidehills in the Kootenay region stayed put, the highway was re-opened and residents of three properties ordered evacuated in Thrums, just east of Castlegar, were allowed to return last night.
A regional district official says the residents decided to spend the night away from home, as crews keep a close eye on area creeks.
With files from Canadian Press