Flood Watch: Proactive measures to protect public infrastructure, properties - News Release #57

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - 12:23pm

Kelowna, B.C. – Work is ongoing to install flood protection for rising lake levels at numerous locations across the Central Okanagan. This includes measures such as bladder dams, gabion barriers and sandbags along the lakefront.

Primary considerations for the placement of flood protection barriers include protecting public infrastructure and foreshore areas where measures can protect many upland properties. Protection for specific areas was also determined by their risk of flooding and how easily and efficiently the barriers can be put in place, giving crews time to complete more shoreline.

Residents might see crews placing wooden stakes along Okanagan Lake waterfront properties to show where the survey determined the lake level could reach when it hits the 343.6-metre level. That point above sea level represents the elevation of the flood projections including a buffer for wave action. Residents are asked not to move or remove the stakes or any other flood protection measures.

Barriers in other areas at risk of flooding will be installed on a priority basis in the following days, making the most efficient use of work crews to get to as many areas as possible before the lake rises forecasted levels.

With water levels already at record highs for the time of year and snow remaining in the high elevation watersheds, the potential for flooding due to rain, wind or warm temperatures is still a risk. These conditions for area lakes and creeks are expected to last well into June.

To establish how flood levels will impact property

  • Use today’s lake level of 342.70m

  • Use a tape measure to measure an additional 90 cm vertically above the existing water level. This will equal 343.6m, which includes the projected flood level plus buffer to protect from wave action.

  • Mark this level again on something stationary such as a tree, fence or wall. Build flood protection measures up to that height.

Tips for dock owners & boaters

In preparation of potential flooding, be sure that any docks or boats are properly secured. Some tips include:

  • If anchored, make sure the anchor lines are long enough, so they don’t snap if water rises too high

  • If you have a pull-up dock, pull it up as high as possible

  • Remove all loose items from the dock, but do not clean any debris from shoreline

  • Ensure boats are secured

  • Stay away from fast moving waters

If residents have a license of tenure/occupation from the province, the dock can be covered under house insurance. If they do not, insurance will not cover it. Anyone with further questions should speak to their insurance provider directly. For more information visit http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/natural-resource-use/land-use/crown-land/crown-land-uses/residential-uses/private-moorage.

Boaters are reminded that lake levels are high and they should watch for floating debris as a significant amount has been flowing down streams and into area lakes. Boaters should also keep their distance from shorelines and if possible keep speeds down as additional wave action could cause disturbance to banks and beaches.

Stay up-to-date

To view the most up to date information and locations of sand and sandbags, go to www.cordemergency.ca and check out the latest updates and maps.