iN VIDEO: As the river rises, Kamloops braces for flooding | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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iN VIDEO: As the river rises, Kamloops braces for flooding

The City of Kamloops has set up flooding barriers along the river in Riverside Park.
May 17, 2020 - 2:30 PM

Unless you've been checking water levels every day this spring, you may not have noticed the rivers rising in Kamloops. But thanks to the efforts of Karen Hart, now you can.

Hart took photos of the Thompson River on a beach in Dallas almost daily, from April 8 to May 13.

We've compiled them in a video to show the progression of water rising over the last month.

In a press conference May 1, Mayor Ken Christian urged residents to begin preparing for what is expected to be a "one-in-20-year" flood this year.

The City is expecting potentially high water due to the above-average snowpack in the North and South Thompson River basins.

Flooding barriers have been installed along the Thompson River in Riverside Park in anticipation. The installation is expected to be complete by May 19, according to a City of Kamloops press release.

These installations are important to protect the sewer mains that run through the park, utilities service manager Greg Wightman said.

"If that end structure was to get overwhelmed with flood waters, it would put that lift station beyond its capacity," he said. "We would have issues with sewer throughout the east end of the city."

Kamloops is expecting water levels to rise between those recorded in 1999 and 1972.

Wightman is confident that Kamloops is well prepared to mitigate consequences to potential flooding.

"We've been preparing for flooding and freshet since the early part of the year," he said. "We've got an incredibly well-developed plan, and at this point we're just working our plan."

The City will continue to deliver sandbags to properties in need next week and fill catch basins and manholes that tend to surcharge as the waters rise. 

The River Forecast Centre is currently maintaining a high streamflow advisory for tributaries of the North Thompson River around Clearwater, Barrierre, Vernon, Lumby, and the Salmon River near Salmon Arm.

For updates on flooding in Kamloops, click here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 819-3723 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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