More flooding possible for South Okanagan, Similkameen - InfoNews

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More flooding possible for South Okanagan, Similkameen

Naramata Creek on May 8, 2017. More rain is expected along with increased snow melt at higher elevations for the next few days.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / RDOS
May 10, 2017 - 2:38 PM

PENTICTON - The B.C. River Forecast Centre has issued a High Streamflow Advisory that includes the South Okanagan and Similkameen thanks to heavy rain expected tomorrow as the snowpack continues to melt.

Zoe Kirk with the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen Emergency Operations Centre says they are being “actively proactive” and making preparations.

Kirk says local creeks continue to run high and any sandbags placed for flood control should be left in place for another few weeks. 

She says Okanagan Lake is on the rise, but how much and how fast has yet to be determined. The last couple of days has seen water levels on the Similkameen River drop, but that could change in the next couple of days.

Chute Lake Road after a washout earlier this month.
Chute Lake Road after a washout earlier this month.

“We’re encouraging people to stay away from the Kettle Valley Trail from Smethurst Road north,” Kirk says as numerous creeks in the area are flowing fast and high.

Glenfir Road is still cut off due to washout and Chute Lake Road should also be avoided, she says.

“Be alert. If your property has areas of concern, it might be advisable to move machinery to higher ground to avoid flooding contamination."

Kirk is also aware of high water and flooding at Haynes Point on Osoyoos Lake. There has been some creek-caused damage to the Princeton-Summerland Road, which is currently under assessment.

Those with culverts should ensure they are clear of sediment and debris. Any clogged culverts crossing roads or highways should be reported to the regional district as well.

Fast flowing streams can topple an adult with just six inches of water, Kirk warns, advising caution around any river or stream.

Residents looking for sandbags are advised to call the Regional District for a sandbag location in their area at 250-492-0237 or 1-800-610-3737.

Sandbags are most effective when filled a specific way. See the link to a sandbag fact sheet from Emergency Preparedness B.C. for more information.

Residents preparing themselves for flooding can also view tips for emergency preparedness offered at this website.

YouTube links can also be found for making sandbags and placing them.

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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