Property owners near creeks urged to prepare

Thursday, April 26, 2018 - 1:55pm

Kelowna, B.C. – Central Okanagan property owners living near creeks and streams who’ve historically experienced flooding are urged to prepare and take proactive measures to protect their property. Properties along Okanagan Lake are currently not at risk of flooding and the lake is not anticipated to be a concern at this time.

Freshet is underway with peak runoff flows from higher elevation snow melt to the valley bottom estimated to occur within the next three weeks. With warmer weather being experienced and rainfall in the forecast, residents are asked to be alert and, more importantly, to prepare as these factors can affect the risk of flooding.

Several local government flood prevention and mitigation measures are underway throughout the Central Okanagan in potentially vulnerable areas that have experienced flooding in the past. Officials continue to monitor weather conditions and creeks and streams across the region.

In Kelowna, Mill Creek levels are being closely monitored. In order to protect public infrastructure only, mitigation work and protection measures are being placed along Mill Creek at the following locations by crews and the BC Wildfire Services:

  • The lake up to Richter Street

  • Brookside Avenue through to Lindahl Street

  • Burne Avenue

  • Ethel Street to Gordon Drive

The above work is expected to be complete by the end of the week, with additional ongoing work along Mill Creek planned.

To protect public infrastructure from potential flooding, crews now need to access specific private properties along Mill Creek to place protection measures. To allow them to do this, a local State of Emergency specifically for Mill Creek in Kelowna has been put in place. This is a proactive approach to preparing for the increasing flows in Mill Creek, to keep our communitites safe.

All property owners living near creeks and streams in the Central Okanagan, especially those who have historically experienced flooding, are responsible for protecting their buildings, structures and properties from groundwater and potential flood damage. This includes protective measures for storm drains in underground parkades.

Self-serve sand and sandbags are available to help residents with their flood prevention preparations. All sand and sandbag locations in the Central Okanagan can be found at cordemergency.ca/map. An additional sand and sandbag location has been added in Kelowna at Rowcliffe Park. This brings the total sandbagging stations to 13 in the region.

As creek levels and flows increase, the public is asked to use care when walking near these areas as banks can be slippery and unstable. Be aware that creeks and streams can rise rapidly. Anyone noticing a non-emergency flooding concerns is asked to call their local municipality.

The Regional Emergency Operations Centre has been activated to support crews in the field responding to the issues of localized flooding during the 2018 freshet and ramp up mitigation work.

Visit cordemergency.ca for the most up to date information, and resources on how to be prepared to keep your family and property safe. Sign up for e-updates on the cordemergency.ca website to have the latest news delivered to your inbox.

For information such as specific flood protection measures being put in place, park and road closures or water quality advisories, visit these local government websites:

City of Kelowna

City of West Kelowna

District of Lake Country

District of Peachland

Regional District of Central Okanagan

Westbank First Nation