Local governments paying attention to high interior rivers and creeks but no flood warnings yet - InfoNews

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Local governments paying attention to high interior rivers and creeks but no flood warnings yet

High water on Mission Creek in Kelowna
May 04, 2020 - 6:30 PM

A high streamflow advisory has been issued for the North Okanagan which includes tributaries around Vernon, Lumby and Winfield, as areas across the Interior deal with rising water in its creeks and rivers.

The B.C. River Forecast Centre issued the High Streamflow Advisory for the North Okanagan May 3.

According to the Forecast Centre, Vernon Creek which runs from Kalamalka Lake has higher levels than seen in the last two years and water levels in Coldstream Creek above the municipal intake north of Lavington are at a 10- to 20-year high.

District of Coldstream chief administrative officer Trevor Seibel said while water levels are high there was no immediate concern.

"It is elevated but it's not abnormal for what we see at this time of year," he said.

Around the region, rivers and creeks are running at higher than average levels.

The B.C. Forecast Centre also reports Chair Creek outside of Winfield is experiencing a level not seen for the last two to five years.

Flooding brought Highway 5A between Kamloops to Merritt to a close today, May 4. The road closed in both directions today due to the flooding between the junction at Highway 97C and Hillside Way.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan closed a section of the Glen Canyon Regional Park and two underpasses along the Mission Creek Greenway due to high water levels.

The lower Glen Canyon parking lot on Gellatly Road and the trail leading from it were closed May 3 as a result of high water in Powers Creek. The Greenway trail under the Casorso Road and Gordon Drive bridges were also closed due to water levels along Mission Creek.

City of Salmon Arm director of engineering and public works Robert Niewenhuizen said there was a lot of flooding along the Salmon River, which runs from the Falkland area out to Shuswap Lake in Salmon Arm.

"Essentially all the areas that are expected to flood right now are under water," Niewenhuizen said.

So far, no properties have been affected and the majority of flooding has taken place on farmland.

Canoe Creek, which runs to the east of Salmon Arm and enters Shuswap Lake at Canoe is higher than average but has not caused any flooding as yet. Niewenhuizen said that although the East Canoe Creek is flowing at a rate not seen for 10 to 20 years, a municipal dam built on the creek will allow the City to control the water flow and prevent flooding.

Further East from Salmon Arm, Columbia-Shuswap Regional District protective services spokesperson Derek Sutherland said the regional district was closely monitoring the situation but currently nothing of consequence was happening as yet.

Around 300 people living in the Cache Creek area had been put on evacuation alert, and several households were evacuated because of the flooding threat before returning home April 30.

Cache Creek Emergency Operations Centre Wendy Coomber said the state of emergency was still in place but all evacuation alerts had been lifted. Coomber said the water could still rise over the next two weeks.

"Everything seems okay for the next few days," she said. "A big rainstorm could change that quickly."

The River Forecast Centre is advising the public to stay clear of fast-flowing rivers and potentially unstable riverbanks during the high-streamflow period.

Interior rivers and creeks are high but no flood warnings as yet

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