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Flood conditions impact recreation in the North Okanagan

A sign posted in Belvedere Park June 13, 2017 in Enderby warns people to stay off the Shuswap River.
June 14, 2017 - 2:30 PM

NORTH OKANAGAN - This year’s high water levels are having an impact on recreation around the North Okanagan.

For the first time ever, Kal RATS has cancelled its sprint triathlon, originally set for June 25.

“Unfortunately, as you may already know, water levels are still rising and may continue to do so over the next two weeks while the snow pack melts. Already we have no beach and a very swampy park at Kin Beach, and the water has almost crossed the road,” the group says in a notice on its website. “So, it is with heavy hearts that for the first time since the Rats began we are going to have to cancel our event this year due to the worst flooding in memory.”

Athletes can expect to be contacted about registration rollovers or refunds.

In Enderby, the high water level is keeping people off a popular destination for locals and tourists. Officials are recommending that people stay off the Shuswap River.

“We’re recommending people not to be on the water because of the speed of the water, the debris, and the undertows,” Sheryl Hay, with the Enderby and District Chamber of Commerce says, says.

A significant amount of spring runoff also means that even though the air is warm, the water is still very cold, which increases the risk of hypothermia if you get stranded, Hay says.

Chamber staff have been visiting local schools in recent weeks, informing them of the risks and teaching them safe water skills.

“We’ve been fortunate this year we haven’t had any water incidents,” Hay says.

It’s still early for tubing, which normally gets underway around the Canada Day long weekend, Hay says. But it’s possible river conditions will remain concerning in the coming weeks.

“It (river) isn’t going to lower any time soon,” Hay says.

She says most people have been following the recommendation to stay off the river, although there are some who’ve been going out anyways. About three weeks ago, a group of canoeists had to be rescued by search and rescue in Grindrod, she says.

“They got caught unable to navigate the flow of water,” she says.

River updates can be found on the Enderby and District Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.


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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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