Officials now predict Okanagan Lake may near 2017 historic flooding
Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK
May 17, 2018 - 11:38 AM
OKANAGAN - The water level in Okanagan Lake is officially expected to reach 343 metres, just 25 centimetres lower than last year’s record flood and could go higher still.
Emergency operations officials were also told by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources which controls the dams on the Okanagan Lake, that lake levels could rise further.
All the same precautions from a year ago are back on the table.
“We are expecting it to reach last year’s levels and then throw on a high wind event or somebody cruising in a 40 foot cigarette boat right in front of your property,” public information officer Ed Henczel said.
Henczel said the Central Okanagan emergency operations centre had no prediction on when the lake might reach 343 metres, however the City of Penticton, in a release posted to its website, predicted it could be as early as May 26.
Okanagan Lake reached a maximum of 343.25 metres on June 11, 2017 and caused millions of dollars damage to public and private infrastructure all along the shoreline.
The most recent assessment of the snow pack in the mountains surrounding the lake has been measured at 200 per cent of normal, a number not seen since 1980.
Recent warm temperatures have caused a rapid melt of the snow pack and some rain is in the forecast which can skew predictions, Henczel said.
A special snow pack measurement is due out next week from the B.C. River Forecast Centre but the Regional District of the North Okanagan said earlier this week that approximately 50 per cent of it remains.
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