FLOOD WATCH 2017: Kelowna beaches set to close due to flood protection measures

Square baskets filled with sand are set up at Lake Avenue Beach Access Tuesday, May 16, 2017.

KELOWNA - Okanagan Lake is continuing to rise and beach areas of local parks are being temporarily closed to protect the public.

According to a City of Kelowna news release, flooding has prompted crews to begin installing flood barriers including bladder dams, gabion barriers and sandbags in a number of areas along the waterfront.

Beach areas in local parks are being closed, including Sutherland Park, City Park, Lake Avenue Beach Access south to Burne Avenue Beach Access, Strathcona Park, Francis Avenue, Maude Roxby Bird Sanctuary, Kinsmen Park and Rotary Beach Park.

The closures will be in effect until the flood has passed and crews are able to remove the flood barriers from the area. Signs have been posted at the parks advising the closures.

Parks Services Manager Blair Stewart says in the release that the flood protection measures are to help reduce the effect of high water levels.

"We can’t stress enough that the public should not approach, climb or jump on these pieces of equipment," Stewart says. "We’ve made the call to close the beach areas until the flood protection measures can be removed."

The city is asking residents to try out new parks during the temporary closures, with a full map here.

Free community events will be taking place at parks this weekend including the Rutland May Days and Parade in Rutland Centennial Park.

For more information about flooding, go here.

For the latest on the flooding situation in the Southern Interior, go here.

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