Watch for flood threat in Kelowna to shift to Mission Creek next week - InfoNews

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Watch for flood threat in Kelowna to shift to Mission Creek next week

FILE PHOTO - Mission Creek in Kelowna during the freshet in April 2016.
May 03, 2018 - 3:59 PM

KELOWNA - Mill Creek in Kelowna has been getting all the attention due to threat of flooding but Mission Creek is soon going to rise substantially.

Even as Mill Creek remains under a local state of emergency, Dave Campbell of the B.C. River Forecast Centre said during a media conference call that Mission Creek, the single largest source of water for Okanagan Lake, is likely to almost double the amount of water it is releasing next week.

“Right now we are at about 35 cubic metres per second,” Campbell said. “Our average annual model suggests we will get up to the 60 level next week.”

Campbell didn’t have a number for last year but said as a comparison that peak flow in 2013 reached 120 cubic metres per second.

“I don’t think we’ve seen peak flow on Mission Creek just yet,” he added.

Campbell said Mission Creek is harder to predict than other watercourses.

“Even when there’s the high snowpack it’s quite a flashy river, “ he said. “It depends on how that snow melts and whether it’s rapid or not. It’s not quite as easy as looking at the snowpack and saying we’re going to get extreme flooding.”

The headwaters of Mission Creek are considered high altitude at around 1,800 metres. The snowpack up there will continue to melt well into June and possibly even July, Campbell added.

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