Penticton channel awaits floaters for the long weekend | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Penticton channel awaits floaters for the long weekend

Donna Sadlon Van Egmond of Penticton has already made her inaugural trip down Penticton's Okanagan River channel. This week's long weekend forecast is hopeful for more channel weather with sunny skies and highs in the mid-20s in the forecast.
Image Credit: Facebook/ Donna Sadlon Van Egmond
May 21, 2021 - 7:30 AM

It may not seem like it with the cool weather so far this week, but the first long weekend of summer is upon us, and in Penticton this year, that could mean the season’s first opportunity to spend a lazy afternoon cruising the river channel.

In spite of a cool and unsettled week, Environment Canada says the weather will improve significantly over the next few days in Kamloops and the Okanagan, with sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 20s Celsius forecast for the region from Saturday through Monday.

That might be enough to make a channel run enticing to those looking for a summer-oriented long weekend activity.

Penticton resident Donna Sadlon Van Egmond was one of the first floaters to make a channel run this year. She enjoyed a leisurely float down the channel with her son last Saturday.

She says it took them an hour and 45 minutes to make the trip, but friends who made the float last Sunday took over two hours.

“We go often, but that was our first run for this year. The water’s brisk, that’s for sure. My son and I both got in the water, but I don’t think I’d be doing it if the temperature was less than the mid-20s,” she said.

Donna says the water is moving along “pretty strong and high” but says she and her son are careful about where they go in the channel and they never tie their floats together.

She’s hopeful the weather will improve enough for another run this weekend.

Ministry of Forests, Lands Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development Public Safety & Protection Section Head and dam operator Shaun Reimer says flow through the channel is currently running at 24 cubic metres per second, which is similar to the flows of 2019 but only about one third of last year’s flow, or that of 2018 and 2017, all of which were years of larger spring freshet.

Penticton firefighters were also preparing for the tubing season, having spent part of this week honing their swift water rescuing skills in the channel, in preparation for the upcoming season.

Penticton firefighters honed their swift-water rescue skills this week on the Penticton river channel.
Penticton firefighters honed their swift-water rescue skills this week on the Penticton river channel.
Image Credit: Facebook/ Penticton Professional Firefighters

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