Worst appears to be over for Lumby as creek water levels begin to fall | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Worst appears to be over for Lumby as creek water levels begin to fall

The Duteau Creek in Lumby, on the morning May 7, 2020.
Image Credit: YOUTUBE / Dan Sigurdson
May 07, 2020 - 3:00 PM

Two days after an evacuation alert was issued for the Village of Lumby, the water levels in several creeks that run through the North Okanagan town don't appear to be rising anymore.

Mayor of Lumby Kevin Acton told iNFOnews.ca as of the morning of May 7, the water level in the Duteau Creek had dropped a little.

"So far so good," Acton said. "I think we're probably in the clear, but I don't want to jinx anything."

The Village of Lumby issued an evacuation alert May 5, to 70 units in over a dozen properties. The alert asked people to be prepared to be evacuated from their properties if it was found necessary.

"The initial piece of property coming into Lumby is underwater, but I believe everybody's homes are safe," he said. "We have sent out an evacuation alert just because we knew the water would be coming up this week. I'm seriously hoping that it stops raining for a few days and that the snow had pretty much melted and I think it's going to be warm and clear."

Environment Canada does not forecast any precipitation in the next 72 hours.

Lumby resident Dan Hill, who was put on evacuation alert two days ago, said water in Duteau Creek was dropping.

"It went up a foot yesterday and it went down about six inches today," Hill said.

Mayor Acton said Harris Creek was running at a high level and "as it stands at the moment things are in hand."

In the neighbouring District of Coldstream, a creek has breached its bank and flooded Ricardo Road, but no properties are affected. According to the B.C. River Forecast Centre, the nearby Coldstream Creek is running at a 100 year high.

District of Coldstream chief administrative officer Trevor Seibel said staff were closely monitoring the situation and the primary objective was to make sure there are not any blockages on the creeks and to keep the water flowing as freely as it can. Seibel said while there was localized flooding no houses had been affected.

The Regional District of the North Okanagan report that the Greater Vernon Water Grizzly Dam had reached its maximum capacity and is currently spilling into the Haddo Dam. The Regional District said in a media release that the Haddo dam was expected to reach its maximum capacity today, May 7, and start spilling into Duteau Creek.

"Dams are designed to spill into the natural waterways once the reservoirs are full to protect against the dam overtopping. This is the normal function of dams and reservoirs, and our staff closely monitor this process," Regional District utilities manager Zee Marcolin said in the release.

"A dam spilling is very different from a dam breaching. We know there have been some reports that the dam breached, but that is not true. A dam breach would be an emergency situation while the dam spilling is a routine function that occurs every spring when the snow melts."

The Regional District advises people living or working near creeks and streams to be aware that water levels may rise quickly and to exercise caution around the fast-moving water.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer 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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