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Province to cover cost of sandbag removal in South Okanagan

FILE PHOTO - Wildfire crews and Pen High students pile sandbags at Red Wing Resorts, Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at the height of this season's flood fears. The Regional District is asking residents to leave sandbags in place for now. Costs for the pickup of sandbags on private property will be covered by the province.
June 20, 2017 - 5:30 PM

PENTICTON - Keep sandbags in place, even though high water levels appear to have peaked, says the Regional District as it announces there will be provincial funding for the eventual clean up on private properties.

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen is asking private property owners to maintain sandbags and other flood protections in place as windstorms and boat wake still have the potential to cause flooding and shoreline erosion.

The 500,000 sandbags distributed will be collected by local governments while the province will pay for the cost of cleanup, according to a media release.

“We are incredibly grateful to the province for covering the costs incurred by local governments for the removal of sandbags from private properties,” regional district chair Karla Kozakevich says in the release. “Residents should keep sandbags in place for now. Local governments will be organizing clean up teams to remove sandbags in the near future. Residents will be advised once the programs are developed as to the potential steps and timelines."

The District says property owners are being asked not to dump sandbags along creeks or lakes because of concerns of damage to the aquatic environment. Sandbags contaminated after coming in contact with septic waste, bacteria or oils should be left for collection once the clean up begins.


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