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A state of local emergency was declared this morning by Kelowna Mayor Sharon Shepherd for two properties along Mission Creek.

City staff and contractors are now preparing to build a temporary dike on the south bank of Mission Creek to protect properties and City infrastructure. A flood watch along Mission Creek was issued this morning by the B.C. River Forecast Centre.

A trail on the south side of the creek is closed temporarily while the temporary dike is constructed. The temporary dike apparatus was supplied by the provincial government.

Dike bolstering along Mission Creek is underway immediately south of the Lakeshore Road bridge. Traffic across the bridge was interrupted this morning as crews removed logs that became jammed under the bridge as a result of the high water.

River levels on Mission Creek have been rising in the past four days due to rapid snowmelt, with a daily loss of snow water equal to 20-25 mm. Heavy rain on Tuesday in the 15-20mm range has also contributed to the rising water level.

The River Forecast Centre says Mission Creek began rising sharply late Tuesday in response to the rainfall. The centre says it expects water levels to continue rising today, with a peak in levels expected later today.

Sandbags are available from local fire halls throughout the Central Okanagan. At this time, property owners are responsible for providing their own sand to fill the bags.

Residents should be careful near any area creeks and streams and keep safely back from creek banks, which may be slippery or subject to erosion. Boaters on Okanagan Lake should continue to watch for floating debris entering the lake from all area water courses.

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