New flood threats add to South Okanagan, Similkameen emergencies - InfoNews

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New flood threats add to South Okanagan, Similkameen emergencies

The Similkameen River is being monitored by real time video cameras to allow for instant response to sudden changes to river flow.
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May 17, 2018 - 10:33 AM

PENTICTON - There are new areas of concern as flood threats arise in the Similkameen and on Okanagan Lake in the South Okanagan.

The entire Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is under a state of local emergency with several areas being closely monitored for high water and flood risk.

Keremeos Creek has breached its banks in the 2500 block of Highway 3 between Keremeos and Cawston. The situation is being assessed today, May 17.

In the Similkameen, evacuation alerts continue along the river’s flood plain. Several residents with health issues have self-evacuated, as has a local care home. Planned road closures will be put into effect should river levels rise.

Water levels continue to rise in the Tulameen River and at Otter Lake. Drones are being utilized in the area to assess the situation.

Cawston area dikes on the Similkameen River have been bolstered, and bridges across the Similkameen are being monitored. Cameras have been placed at strategic locations along the Similkameen River in order to monitor river levels in real time.

Sandbagging continues on Osoyoos Lake as several properties remain on evacuation alert.

Recently installed culverts in the Sportsmens Bowl area are working well. Continued monitoring of high water levels in Sportsmens Bowl and Willowbrook continues.

Shuttleworth Creek in Okanagan Falls has returned to its natural creek bed following the installation of rip-rap and the construction of berms along the creek’s banks. Evacuated residents are back in their homes.

Pumping operations are continuing on Secrest Hill Road, and at Green and Twin Lakes.

A bladder dam will be installed at Red Wing Resort north of Penticton soon, as water levels on Okanagan Lake have begun to rise significantly.

The regional district continues to urge residents to be vigilant and prepared as flood emergencies continue.

For the very latest information go to the regional district Emergency Operations Centre website here.

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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