FLOOD WATCH 2017: Now is the time to prepare for more flooding, Central Okanagan officials say

Emergency workers are busy filling sandbags on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 to help residents prepare for more flooding over the next few days.

KELOWNA – The worst is yet to come, and residents living near the water had better get prepared.

That was the message delivered at a media conference in Kelowna today, May 10, held near the banks of swollen Mission Creek.

Emergency Operations director Bryan Reardon says the Central Okanagan Regional District anticipates water levels across the Okanagan will begin peaking late tomorrow or early Friday.

“Last week’s flooding may prove to be just a dress rehearsal for a much larger event,” he said. “If you haven’t started preparing, now is the time.”

Sand and sandbags will be stationed around the Regional District and replenished as often as possible.

Reardon says those who experienced flooding already should expect the same or worse, and even those who didn’t experience flooding may still in the coming days.

With warm temperatures, rising freezing levels and 25 to 40 mm of rain forecast for Thursday, May 11 to Sunday, May 14 rising water levels throughout the valley are very likely, according to a media release. Warmer than average temperatures are expected to begin the high elevation snowpack melt and combine with the heavy precipitation to raise local lake levels and create record flows in creeks.

Reardon recommends residents whose homes may be at risk to have their bags packed and arrange a place to stay.

“Hotel rooms in Kelowna are full this weekend,” he says. “Please make plans to stay with family and friends if at all possible. If you have an RV, this may be a good time to use it. Make plans for family pets.

More information is availabe at the Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Centre website. 

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