The Central Okanagan Regional Emergency Program has been active on several fronts over the weekend as last week’s rainfall has caused localized flooding problems.
In the past 24 hours, more than five thousand sandbags have been distributed to local property owners and four truckloads of sand has been delivered to four areas that have been impacted by flood waters from Mill and Mission creeks. Crews continue to monitor all area creeks, dikes and bridges/structures over the water courses for potential debris issues that might cause flooding.
The flow of Mission Creek has decreased slightly from its earlier peak of 90 cubic meters per second, which is close to the all time peak flow for this creek. At that flow rate, an Olympic sized swimming pool would fill in less than half a minute. The BC River Forecast Centre expects Mission Creek water levels and flows to remain high over the next few days and could be impacted by further snow melt at the higher elevations as temperatures return to seasonal values.
In the area of Lakeshore Road bridge, nearby Radant Road property owners have been sandbagging to protect their properties from the creek. City of Kelowna crews have been removing debris from the creek at the bridge to protect against damage to the structure and prevent any potential flooding from backed up debris. The new dyke installed along the creek earlier this year southeast of the bridge is performing well and has protected several homes and businesses from flooding.
Mill Creek, which continues to rise as a result of the recent rainfall has seen localized flooding in the Bulman Road, Totom Road and Adams Road areas. Sandbagging has taken place at Bulman Road, which remains closed with flaggers in place to redirect any traffic around the flooded section. Crews continue to monitor a sewer lift station in this area. Mill Creek also overflowed its’ banks in the Enterprise Way and Commerce Avenue area, however sandbagging by City of Kelowna crews kept waters from flooding Enterprise Way.
Kelowna International Airport has seen some field saturation and isolated flooding in the long-term parking area as a result of the rising water in Mill Creek. Water is draining from the affected parking area today.
Within the Central Okanagan East Electoral Area monitoring continues of Dave’s Creek which is experiencing high levels and flows and is impacting Goudie Road. Road contractors are addressing this issue.
In the Fintry Delta of the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area, an assessment is underway along Short’s Creek due to an erosion concern and high creek flow.
Okanagan Lake remains below full pool but depending on weather conditions is forecast to peak late this week or next weekend.
Information and pamphlets on flood preparedness including a recommended method for sandbag diking are available from the Regional District of Central Okanagan office (1450 KLO Road) and the main City of Kelowna fire hall on Enterprise Way as well as on the Regional Emergency Operation Centre websitewww.cordemergency.ca and the Emergency Management BC website: pep.bc.ca/floods/preparedness.html.
Anyone noticing a potential problem or flooding concern in the Central Okanagan is asked to call the Regional Fire Dispatch at: 250-469-8801. Sandbags are available at local fire halls for any property owner facing imminent danger from flooding.
At this time of year, Central Okanagan residents are asked to use caution around all local water bodies. People are reminded that water levels may rise unexpectedly and they and their pets should stay safely back from creek banks, which may be slippery or subject to erosion from the spring runoff. Okanagan Lake boaters are also advised to be on the look-out for floating debris carried into the lake from rising and faster flowing tributaries.
In the event of an emergency and activation of the Central Okanagan Emergency Operation Centre (EOC), the latest information will be available online at the new EOC Public Information website: www.cordemergency.ca.