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Eight kilometers of temporary dams en route to Kelowna

A series of aqua dam's near Bellevue Creek in Kelowna, Friday, May 12, 2017.
May 12, 2017 - 3:38 PM

KELOWNA – Sometimes sand bags aren't enough.

To protect against flooding, the Central Okanagan Regional District has installed large, water-inflatable aqua dams at one location in Kelowna, and more are on the way.

The aqua dam’s are essentially large water balloons that can be placed in tight locations and filled. They provide reliable protection against rushing water and the Regional District plans to make full use of them in the coming days and weeks.

Emergency Operations Centre public information officer Tom Wilson says they will be using two types of water-filled barriers along critical areas that are difficult to access.

“You can get them into tight areas along creeks where you couldn’t get a back hoe or even sand bags,” he says.

There are currently only a few in place at the mouth of Bellevue Creek but soon eight kilometers worth will be placed around Kelowna, Lake Country and West Kelowna. Some, like those at Bellevue Creek, are flexible like a water balloon but a second type that will be used is essentially a series of plastic bricks that interlock and fill with water.

“They can be used along creeks, lakefront properties, anywhere just to shore up the barrier,” Wilson says.

Environment Canada says there remains a chance of thundershowers and rain over the next 24 hours and the risk of flooding in the Okanagan remains high.


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