Good Time to Review Annual Flood Preparations

Tuesday, April 7, 2020 - 10:01am

The COVID-19 pandemic is front and centre for every Central Okanagan resident these days.  We’re all learning to adapt as the virus continues to unfold and affect our lives.

Recognizing that, there’s also another seasonal reality that some residents may need to consider.

Those property owners that have had issues in the past with flooding are encouraged to take a look at their flood preparation plans.  It’s a good time to review and update the steps they take each year to protect and prepare their property from potential flood damage.

The snowpack at the upper and mid valley elevations will soon be melting.  This means that as spring moves along, area creeks and streams will start to see more water with higher levels and flows.

While it’s too early to say whether there will be any potential problems with flooding and high water, the Central Okanagan Emergency Program encourages property owners in flood prone and low-lying areas near creeks and streams, to consider how they’ll protect their properties.

Property owners are reminded they are responsible for having a plan as well as the tools and equipment necessary to protect their properties from possible flood damage.

Local governments and the BC Ministry of Environment are watching water levels and weather conditions throughout the annual spring runoff.  If needed, advisories, watches and warnings will be issued. 

Links to information and pamphlets on flood preparedness including a recommended method for sandbag diking are available on the Be Prepared page of the Central Okanagan Emergency Program website cordemergency.ca and on the Prepared BC website.  There is also information available for areas that might be susceptible to land slippage or movement.

Later in the spring, stockpiles of sandbags will be available at local fire halls throughout the Central Okanagan for those making preparations. Local governments will provide information on their sandbag locations and availability.  For public safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, those filling sandbags are asked to maintain a safe physical distance from others. Property owners are responsible for providing their own sand to fill the bags.

In the event of an emergency and activation of the Central Okanagan Emergency Operation Centre (EOC), the latest information will be available online at cordemergency.ca and via Facebook (facebook.com/CORDEmergency) and Twitter (twitter.com/CO_Emerg). Central Okanagan residents are encouraged to subscribe on the website to receive email notifications from the Emergency Program.