Initial sweep of sandbag removals complete

Friday, August 4, 2017 - 2:08pm

Central Okanagan – As of today the majority of sandbag removals from public and private property in the Central Okanagan will be complete – three weeks earlier than anticipated.

Residents who haven’t notified officials of sandbags on their property will need to do so by the end of business day on Tuesday, August 8 to ensure pick-up is done at no cost. Contact the flood recovery information line at 250-469-0674 or add a request to the map application,  www.cordemergency.ca/beprepared/flood-recovery.

Under no circumstances should sandbags be emptied into creeks, lakes, wetland, beaches or other watercourses as outlined in the Water Sustainability Act. The impact can destroy fish habitat and affect drinking water supply, infrastructure, flood control, navigation and recreational activities.

Do-it-yourself sandbag removals

Residents wanting to remove sandbags at their own cost should take precautions when working around stagnant water. Sandbags that have been sitting in water can contain mould. Residents should wear N95 respirators, nitrile gloves and rubber boots while working and should thouroughly wash hands and clothes after handling the bags.

Sandbags can be returned to one of the many depots stations throughout the region. See map for locations.  Residents may also bring sandbags to the street front for pick up and disposal. Burlap and polypropylene bags should be divided into separate piles at the curb.

Debris removal

Four barge crews are currently working on Okanagan Lake. Removals will continue along the shoreline in Kelowna from the Mission area toward the W. R. Bennett Bridge. Additional crews will be working along north Westside Road as well as Peachland and West Kelowna next week.

The collection of unnatural debris from the shores of Okanagan Lake is expected to continue well into August. This includes unclaimed broken docks, unregistered boats, garbage and barrels, along with large trees or stumps. Damaged docks and pilings still in place are the responsibility of the property owner.

Any debris that residents do not want removed should be clearly marked with “Do Not Remove”, so crews know to leave it behind. This may include sections of dock residents are hoping to repair. If possible, use fluorescent orange flagging tape or paint.

Next steps

The emergency response costs are anticipated to be approximately $20 million for the region. However, the complete cost of flood damage will not be known for some time. Local jurisdictions will assess the impact of erosion to public property once receding waters uncover what has been hiding for nearly two months.

To sign up for e-updates and for the most up-to-date information about sandbag pick up, drop-off locations and debris clean up go to www.cordemergency.ca or call the flood recovery phone line at 250-470-0674. The information line will be open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Monday to Friday.

For municipal information about boat launches, parks and beaches and water quality advisories, visit their websites: