PEACHLAND - Homeowners and business in Peachland are battling to keep up with rising ground water. Hoses can be seen across Beach Avenue as water is pumped into Okanagan Lake from basements and crawl spaces.
“Some people have been pumping 24 hours a day, for the past week and still have water rushing out of their basements,” Peachland resident Jean Veale says. “I was prepared, so I have it under control.”
Veale has lived on Beach Avenue in Peachland for the past forty years. She says this is the worst flooding she has ever seen.
“It was bad in 1990 and 1997, but nothing like this,” she says. “Every year I get a little water in my crawlspace, so in May when we heard it was going to be a big one, I got prepared.”
Veale is one of many homeowners and businesses pumping water from her crawlspace into the lake.
“It’s a lot better now that we’re allowed to pump water into the lake,” she says. “Before we had permission to do that we had to pump water onto our yard - it was a swamp.”
For Todd’s RV & Camping, a passerby could easily mistake portions of the campground for a swamp. Half the sites at the campground are closed due to the high water with at least a foot of water covering some areas.
“We grew up here, we know what high water is like, but this is different,” Donna Britton says. She and her husband Bruce are the ground supervisors at Todd's.
They’ve had to turn away close to 50 customers due to the flooding.
“We’re trying to shuffle people around and accommodate as best we can," Bruce says.
However, the flooding didn’t stop Kelowna resident Betty Mirva from taking her regular trip to Todd’s.
“People think that everywhere is underwater, well it’s not,” Mirva says. “I mean the flooding is bad, it is happening, but that doesn’t mean everything has to shut down.”
Mirva will be staying at the camp ground for two weeks, and has friends coming from Vernon to stay as well.
“We’re just trying to go about everything as normal as possible, the situation doesn’t need to be blown out of proportion," she says.
For Victor Langdon, owner of Beach Ride Rental Company in Peachland, he just wants people to know that Peachland is open for business.
“I’ve gotten calls asking if we’re completely underwater, so I have to tell them that no, everything is still open for business," Langdon says.
Having bought the company in April, he says he is a bit concerned, but he can only hope for the best.
“We just have to see what happens, there’s nothing else we can do.”
According to a Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Centre, Mission Creek is flowing at 30 to 35 cubic-metres-per-second, as of this morning, June 6. The River Forecast Centre also ended the high streamflow advisory, but that could change later this week with rain in the forecast expected to increase creek flows.
Due to the high lake levels, various areas around Kelowna City Park are now closed, while the entire park will close at dusk, instead of the usual 11 p.m., according to a City of Kelowna release.
The closures include the tunnel access under William R. Bennett Bridge, the pathway along Hot Sands Beach and the waterpark. In order to accommodate those in search of a waterpark, hours at the waterpark in Ben Lee Park in Rutland been extended.
For the very latest information on flooding in the Central Okanagan go to the Emergency Operations Centre website.
Find past stories on the spring flooding here.
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