Lake Rises, Forecast for Wind - News Release #69

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 - 11:12am

Kelowna, B.C. –  Okanagan Lake and water bodies across the Central Okanagan continue their rise toward record levels.

Okanagan Lake rose 4 centimetres since yesterday morning to 342.91 metres, surpassing the 1990 flood level of 342.87 metres.  That’s just 9 centimetres below the year’s projected flood level of 343 metres.

With the forecast calling for gusty winds later tonight and early tomorrow morning, wind-driven wave action could test waterfront flood protection measures. There’s a potential for rain with possible thundershowers later today as a cold front moves through. As well, the warmer than normal temperatures through today have resulted in higher levels and flows in area creeks and streams, further reducing the snowpack in the higher elevations.

Waterfront property owners who haven’t taken measures to protect their structures and properties from flooding should do so. During surveillance flights and a detailed Okanagan Lake shoreline survey by the Emergency Operations Centre, officials noted that many lakefront properties at risk of flooding have not adequately protected the shoreline to 343.6 metres, which is the projected high lake level of 343 metres plus a buffer for wave action.

To determine whether your property needs flood protection, go to the Flood FAQs section of www.cordemergency.ca/beprepared.  That’s where you’ll find instructions on how to measure for flood levels and build barriers to the appropriate height to account for both lake level flooding and wave action.

Sandbagging stations are stocked and replenished daily at several locations throughout the Central Okanagan.  Volunteers are still welcome at these locations to help with filling and loading sandbags.  Visit www.cordemergency.ca/map to find the location closest to you.

Boating is still not recommended on Central Okanagan lakes as levels are moving higher and for safety reasons with the vast amount of floating and submerged debris and docks.

Find information on flood preparation, including sand and sandbag locations, how to effectively build sandbag walls and secure docks at www.cordemergency.ca/beprepared/flood-faq. For municipal information such as water quality, boat launches, park and beach closures, visit their websites:

City of Kelowna

City of West Kelowna

District of Lake Country

District of Peachland

Regional District of Central Okanagan