FLOOD WATCH 2017: South Okanagan lakes, rivers on the rise; flooding real possibility

Sandbagging at Indian Rock near Naramata on May 7, 2017.

PENTICTON - With Okanagan Lake rising as much as three centimetres a day, the regional district is concerned about the possibility of flooding downstream.

Flooding on Okanagan Lake, Skaha Lake, Vaseux Lake, the Okanangan River and Osoyoos Lake is very real with the snowpack melting rapidly and heavy rain in the forecast for the next few days.

A severe thunderstorm watch was issued by Environment Canada for the Okanagan this morning, May 11, calling for thunderstorms with heavy downpours of as much as 25 mm of rain, lightning and high winds.

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen Emergency Services is asking residents who have already placed sandbags to leave them in place as a precautionary measure. People near fast flowing creeks and rivers are advised to maintain a 10 metre distance from banks, as river and creek edges have the potential to become very unstable during high stream flows.

If you need sand or sandbags, here's where to go:

  • Town of Osoyoos - sandbags at the Public Works Yard, 11500, 115th St. Osoyoos. Sand will be placed across the street from the Dairy Queen on Main Street.
  • Keremeos and Cawston area residents can find sand and sandbags at the Village of Keremeos Irrigation Pump Station at 900 Sparks Dr.
  • Town of Oliver- sandbags are available at the Public Works Yard , 5971 Sawmill Rd, and at the Oliver Fire Hall, 369 Similkameen Ave.
  • Willowbrook- sandbags are at the Fire Hall at 39440 Fairview Rd.
  • Okanagan Falls - sandbags are available at the fire hall, sand is available at the end of Cedar Road, by the old sewer plant.
  • Naramata - sandbags are available at the fire hall on Lower Debeck Road.
  • Faulder- sandbags located at post box pullout at the junction of Fish Lake Road and the Princeton Summerland Road.
  • Red Wing -  sand and bags inside the gates of the resort.
  • Missezula Lake - sandbags and sand are located at the beach.
  • Erris and Hayes areas - sand and sandbags at local fire departments.
  • Tulameen, Otter Lake, Otter Creek - sand and sandbags available at the fire hall
  • City of Penticton - sand and sandbags at Fire Hall # 2, at the corner of Dawson Avenue
  • District of Summerland - at the fire hall at 10115 Jubilee Rd, and at Summerland Public Works at 9215 Cedar Ave.

For more information you can call the Regional District at 250-492-0237 or 1-800-610-3737.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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