2018 Freshet Preparation Ramps Up

Friday, April 20, 2018 - 3:56pm

Kelowna, B.C.  – Emergency officials and local government staff are responding to various reports of small landslides and localized flooding because of groundwater and high water levels in low-elevation streams throughout the Central Okanagan.

Properties along Okanagan Lake are currently not at risk of flooding. The Okanagan Lake level is being closely monitored and managed by the province and is not anticipated to be a concern in 2018.

The Emergency Operation Centre has been activated to support crews in the field responding to the issues of localized flooding during the 2018 freshet. 

The Emergency program reminds property owners that they are responsible for having tools and equipment necessary to protect their properties from possible flooding.

Sand and sandbags are available at locations across the Central Okanagan for residents that are in vulnerable areas or who have previously experienced freshet flooding. Visit cordemergency.ca/map to find sand and sandbag pick up locations.

City of Kelowna has sand and sandbags at:

  • Apple Bowl parking area – 1555 Burtch Road

City of West Kelowna has sand and sandbags at:

  • Kinsmen Works Yard - 3170 Shannon Lake Road
  • Across the street from Glenrosa Firehall – 3390 Gates Road
  • Across the street from Rose Valley Firehall – 1608Westlake Road
  • Road end – 4081 Hitchner Road
  • West Kelowna Yacht Club – 4111 Gellatly Road

District of Peachland has:

  • Sand at open space at 5432 Chidley Road
  • Sandbags at Peachland Fire Hall – 4405 3rd Avenue

Regional District of Central Okangan has sand and sandbags:

  • Two firehalls in Joe Rich – 114881 Highway 33 and 6550 Goudie Road
  • Short’s Creek Firehall – 7355 Westside Road
  • Wilson’s Landing Firehall – 2396 Westside Road
  • Ellison Firehall – 4111 Old Vernon Road

In the event that a homeowner needs to construct a sandbag dike or wall to protect their property, residents are encouraged to review the sandbagging tips and information provided by Emergency Management BC.

Emergency management crews and municipal staff monitor area waterways and culverts on an on-going basis and are in daily contact with Provincial departments to monitor creeks and rivers. They expect it will be about two to four weeks—depending on weather—before spring runoff peak flows from higher elevation snow melt arrives in the valley bottom. Some smaller creeks fed from low level snow melt have already started to rise.

Anyone noticing a non-emergency flooding concerns is asked to call their local municipality.

As creeks and streams are continuing to rise, residents are also advised to use extra care and attention around local creeks. Hikers and walkers should be aware that fast moving water may cause some creek bank erosion and creek bank edges may not be stable.

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 municipal information such as specific flood protection measures being put in place, park and road closures or water quality advisories, visit their websites: