Okanagan flooding concerns aren't rising with temperatures - InfoNews

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Okanagan flooding concerns aren't rising with temperatures

Flooding at Sportsmen's Bowl near Oliver, April 11, 2018, is pictured in this file photo. Localized flooding is always a possibility during the spring melt, but Public Safety and Protection Head Shaun Reimer says a forecast for warmer temperatures isn't necessarily cause for concern in the Okanagan.
March 15, 2019 - 6:30 PM

PENTICTON - A forecast calling for a sudden shift to more spring-like temperatures isn’t a cause for flooding concerns in the Okanagan yet, according to the man in charge of the flood gates on the Okanagan River channel at the south end of Okanagan Lake.

Ministry of Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Public Safety and Protection section head Shaun Reimer said this year’s lower Okanagan high elevation snowpack suggests the potential for Okanagan flooding is reduced, although the possibility of flooding, particularly localized flooding, can never be completely ruled out.

Reimer said even with more snow on the ground at lower levels than is normally seen in the vally at this time of year, a sudden change in temperature doesn’t necessarily mean flooding is imminent.

“There would be more concern if the warming trend led to temperatures well above normal at the higher elevations and at night,” Reimer said in an emailed response today, March 14. “The Environment Canada forecast doesn’t mean those two conditions will be met."

"Warm daytime temperatures followed by cool nights generally lead to a measured snowmelt that receiving channels can accommodate this time of year,” Reimer said.

The latest forecast from Environment Canada calls for clear skies and daytime high temperatures in the upper teens by next Tuesday in Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton, with overnight lows staying just above the freezing mark. 

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