Lakes Rising - Flood Preparations Continue News Release #59

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 - 11:21am

The Evacuation Orders remain in place affecting properties within the Okanagan Indian Band reserve #7 including those specifically identified in the Holiday Park Resort and the Turtle Lodges.  Any change to these Evacuation Orders will be made only when it is safe to allow residents to return.  Evacuation Orders and Alerts are up-to-date at www.cordemergency.ca/map.

Okanagan Lake rose more than three centimetres to 342.736 metres since yesterday morning.

Residents in low-lying and waterfront areas that may be affected by flooding from rising lake levels are encouraged to use sandbags or other measures to protect structures on their property.   Updated information on sand and sandbag locations is available at www.cordemergency.ca/map

Once again today, residents may see proactive flood protection measures from local government public works staff along beaches and the lakefront in municipalities. 

Bladder dams, gabion barriers and sandbags will continue to be installed at a number of locations along the foreshore based on a survey of waterfront properties on Okanagan Lake. The survey confirmed the location of those areas that are most prone to flooding from rising lake levels.   Some of those areas with waterfront flood protection installed include those neighbourhoods between the W. R. Bennett Bridge and close to the Kelowna General Hospital campus and in West Kelowna and along Bellevue Creek.

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.

The primary considerations where flood protection barriers will be placed include protecting public infrastructure and foreshore areas where these 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.

Crews are also continuing to place wooden stakes along 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.

To establish how flood levels will impact property

  • Use today’s lake level of 342.74 metres

  • Use a tape measure to measure an additional 86 centimetres vertically above the existing water level. This will equal 343.6 m, which includes the projected flood level plus buffer to protect from wave action.

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

All previously placed sandbags and other protective devices should be left in place.

Debris washed up on beaches should be left there for the time being.  Please do not remove logs and other wood material as it helps limit erosion caused by wave action. When the flood risk has passed, officials will provide notification of how the beach debris will be removed.

Tips for dock owners & boaters
Anyone boating on lakes in the Central Okanagan is reminded to keep speeds and wakes down to prevent shoreline erosion.  They should also watch for floating debris.

In preparation of potential flooding, docks or boats must be 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

  • Ensure boats are secured

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

  • Secure the dock using sandbags or weighted barrels on the edges of the dock

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

  • Stay away from fast moving waters

Boat owners with boats on lifts may choose to remove their boat from the lift and trailer it for safe storage.

Residents are reminded that the BC Wildfire Service camp in West Kelowna is a restricted area. No information is available at this location and they should refer to the Regional Emergency Program website www.cordemergency.ca for the latest updates.

Stay up-to-date
See the most up to date information at www.cordemergency.ca and for the latest updates and maps.