FLOOD WATCH 2017: Regional District pricing out a temporary fix for Similkameen dike - InfoNews

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FLOOD WATCH 2017: Regional District pricing out a temporary fix for Similkameen dike

Regional Disrict of Okanagan Similkameen Emergency Services Supervisor Dale Kronebusch says a geotech will provide the regional district with a cost estimate for temporary repairs to a portion of the Similkameen dike in Cawston that is showing signs of erosion.
May 25, 2017 - 10:29 AM

PENTICTON - Local and provincial governments say they are working to come up a way — at least temporarily — to make emergency repairs to a portion of the Similkameen River dike in Cawston.

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen emergency services supervisor Dale Kronebusch says a geotech is being hired to check out the cost of repairs to the dike, which is showing signs of erosion along a short section through Cawston.

“It won’t be a permanent solution, but it will allow the dike to survive through this season,” he said, noting a more permanent solution will have to wait until river levels drop.

“As of May 19 the Similkameen River was running at 200 metres per second, if it gets as high as 600 metres per second, that could be the point at which damage could occur,” Kronebusch said.

He says they still need the approval of the province in order for the Regional District to perform the mitigation work without having to take responsibility for the dike.

The question of jurisdiction is one still under discussion.

Forests Lands and Natural Resource Operations senior public affairs officer Gabrielle Price said while it's considered an orphan dike, local government is responsible as the first responder in flood events. 

In an emergency requiring assistance with flood protection measures, local governments can contact Emergency Management B.C., which may request resources and action from the Ministry of Lands, Forests and Natural Resource Operations.

Price said ministry staff can provide technical expertise and support and local governments are aware of funding opportunities to improve and maintain flood protection structures.

Cawston regional district director George Bush says provincial officials made an aerial inspection of the dike last week, but have yet to commit to repairs.

“So far, the river’s come up, but it has a long way to go yet,” he said. 

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