Sandbags available throughout North Okanagan as region experiences above-average rainfall | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Sandbags available throughout North Okanagan as region experiences above-average rainfall

May 05, 2017 - 1:59 PM

VERNON - With a much wetter spring than normal, the North Okanagan Regional District is reminding property owners that some help for flood protection is available. 

This year the Government of Canada weather reporting station in North Vernon reported that the area had more than 200 per cent of the precipitation of a 30-year average for February, roughly 270 per cent of a 30-year average for March, and more than 280 per cent of a 30 year average for April, the regional district states in a release.

“As a result, the ground is saturated, and ditches and streams are running high and may be at risk of overflowing,” the regional district says.

With the high water levels due to above-average precipitation and snow loads, the regional district is reminding residents that property protection from spring water run-off and high waters is the responsibility of the property owner or occupant, but the regional district does offer limited resources to help with property protection.
For residents in the regional district electoral areas, water that is threatening a home due to overflowing ditches can be reported to the Ministry of Transportation’s contractor through their 24 hour emergency number: 1-877-546-3799.

If the water is not a threat to the house, residents are asked to wait for natural dissipation of the water, as equipment and staff are limited, states the release.

People are also permitted to assist in clearing small blockages in the ditches with hand tools, such as shovels, but no machinery is allowed without Ministry of Transportation authority, the district says.

Any culverts or pipes beneath property access roads is not the responsibility of the Ministry of Transportation, but the property owner.
“While the work associated with the protection of private property, such as digging ditches or sandbagging, is the responsibility of the property owner or occupants, residents who choose to protect their property with sand bags can access sand and bags at no cost, for self-filling, at several locations in the North Okanagan,” the regional district’s manager of protective services Alastair Crick says in the release.

Sand and bags, with shovels for filling bags, are available at the following locations:

Vernon City Yards, outside main gate on Pleasant Valley Road

Corner of Okanagan Avenue and Okanagan Landing Road

Vernon Fire Hall, 3401 30th St.

City of Enderby, RDNO Electoral Area F:
Enderby Works Yard 2308 McGowan Ave., Enderby

RDNO Electoral areas B and C
BX Swan Lake Fire Dpt. 5764 Silver Star Rd.

Village of Lumby, RDNO Areas D and E
Across from Pat Duke Arena, Shields Ave., Lumby

District of Coldstream
Coldstream Works Yard - 8010 Aberdeen Road

Emergency preparedness information and resources are available on the B.C. Government website.  

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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