FLOOD WATCH 2017: Rain could bring the worst flood in local history - InfoNews

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FLOOD WATCH 2017: Rain could bring the worst flood in local history

Chach Denero is the manager of a business that flooded last week after water spilled the banks of nearby Mill Creek.
May 10, 2017 - 3:30 PM

KELOWNA – The province is warning that an unusual “perfect storm” of conditions could create unprecedented flooding this weekend.

A representative from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources told reporters today, May 10, that the flooding that damaged dozens of homes and businesses last weekend was likely just a taste of what’s to come.

Shaun Reimer says if as much rain falls this week as is forecast, Mission Creek will flow faster than it has in recorded history.

“The forecast for Mission Creek is a flow that is higher than last weekend, and last weekend it got up to 100 cubic metres per second. Yesterday’s forecast came close to what we’ve determined … is a 1-in-200-year event.”

He says due to a combination of prolonged, heavy rain, warm weather at higher elevations and reservoirs already at capacity, the Creek is forecast to reach a flow of 137 m3 per second.

“Our cup is full, the bucket’s full," City of Kelowna spokesperson Todd Cashin says. “There’s really nowhere else for the rain to go except up over creek banks and up onto people’s properties along our lakes.”

The Central Okanagan Regional District has arranged for sand and bags to be stationed around the city and roughly 100 Ministry of Forest crews arrive in Kelowna later this afternoon.

Residents who live near water are encouraged to begin sandbagging low lying areas immediately and have luggage for several days packed and a place to stay arranged ahead of time.

“The easiest way to help is to reach out to family and friends to offer assistance and to show up at a sand pile to see where you can assist,” Cashin says. “It’s really, at this point, up to Mother Nature as to how much rain we get, but we really, really need to be prepared.”

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