Flood watch: Risk mitigation efforts continue - News Release #46

Friday, May 12, 2017 - 2:53pm

Kelowna, B.C – The Central Okanagan remains on flood watch. Emergency crews remain deployed throughout the Central Okanagan and are taking several proactive measures to address flood risks.

Given the potential for further flooding, civic crews and contractors have been tasked with bolstering and protecting infrastructure at critical locations. Work includes:

  • Dike construction and aquadam installed along Mission Creek in Kelowna
  • Protective measures at Bellevue Creek in Kelowna including channelling and aquadam installation
  • Equipment deployment on Scotty Creek
  • Sandbagging at key infrastructure locations throughout the Central Okanagan
  • Shipping in eight kilometres’ worth of additional, portable aquadams, due to arrive Saturday, May 13
  • Removing multiple log jams and clearing culverts
  • Monitoring creeks by air and land and having crews on standby to remove log jams
  • Keeping sandbags and sand stations continually stocked throughout the Central Okanagan
  • Providing Lake Level Flood Watch Maps at www.cordemergency.ca/map to keep residents, businesses owners, and property managers advised of potential risks and help them prepare
  • Advance planning for multiple future scenarios

Despite less severe than expected weather Thursday night and Friday morning, unstable weather remains in the forecast through Sunday. This is a weather driven, complex event with several moving inputs such as rain, temperature, wind and snowpack melt which can change quickly.

Okanagan Lake is already 7cm above full pool and is expected to continue to rise. Runoff has been less significant than expected. In larger river systems, rivers are still expected to continue to respond through the day on Friday, and into Saturday. Mission Creek flow has been downgraded from an unprecedented flow of 155 m3/s to 60 m3/s. Visit the Environment Canada website at http://bcrfc.env.gov.bc.ca for weather, stream and lake flow monitoring.

The Central Okanagan is not out of the woods yet and the message to “stay prepared” remains as important as ever; get tips at www.getprepared.ca.

Evacuation alerts and orders remain in effect. Residents and businesses are reminded not to remove any flood preparations until the flood watch is over. Not every sign of water inside a household or building is cause for an evacuation. Evacuation orders are only issued to ensure a protection of human life.

For more information on the situation including a map and to sign up for e-updates, visit cordemergency.ca. Information will also be provided via the https://twitter.com/CO_Emerg and https://www.facebook.com/CORDEmergency.