Lakes Still Rising – Flood Preparations Continue News Release #60

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 - 4:52pm

Evacuation Orders have been rescinded for all properties affected by flooding on Okanagan Indian Band Reserve #7.  This includes Meadow Brook Estates, Holiday Park Resort, Turtle Lodges and other properties within the reserve.  Those people no longer under evacuation may continue to experience increasing lake and ground water levels and should leave any flood preparations, such as sandbags, in place.  To check on the status of orders and alerts visit www.cordemergency.ca/maps

There are isolated areas within the Central Okanagan that are currently experiencing impacts from rising lake levels.   In downtown Kelowna for example, dewatering pumps have been in place and continue to work to prevent flooding in civic properties with potential benefits for other area properties.  The Westside Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant has added additional pumping capacity to support reduced outfall flow of treated effluent into Okanagan Lake.

These conditions are expected to last well into June as water levels in area lakes are at seasonal record levels and there is snow still to melt in the mountain watersheds not to mention the impact unpredictable weather events may add.

Public works crews continued today installing flood protection measures along beaches and lakefront areas.

Some of the foreshore areas where bladder dams, gabion barriers and sandbags were installed today in the City of Kelowna include City Park, Strathcona Park and Rotary Park.  Protective works were previously installed along Manhattan Drive; south of the W.R. Bennett Bridge and along waterfront properties in the area of the Kelowna General Hospital campus as well as locations in West Kelowna.

The locations for these works are based on a survey of waterfront properties on Okanagan Lake that are most prone to flooding from rising lake levels.   Some of the installation considerations include protecting public infrastructure and foreshore areas that protect many upland properties.  Specific areas were also determined by their risk of flooding and how easily and efficiently these barriers can be put in place.  Crews will continue to install barriers in the coming days on a priority basis. The public is requested to stay away from built flood protection measures.

In an ongoing effort to help City of Kelowna residents in low-lying and waterfront areas that may be affected by flooding from rising Okanagan Lake levels, pallets of sandbags are being dropped off along roads and streets in these areas where no public flood prevention works are proposed.  Residents are encouraged to use these sandbags to protect their properties. 

Other residents and property owners concerned about flooding 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

The levels of Okanagan Lake and other lakes in the Central Okanagan continue to rise, as the volume of water entering from the higher elevations is greater than that flowing out.  Unpredictable weather conditions such as warm temperatures, wind and rain will impact the potential for flooding.

Please do not remove any debris washed up on beaches.  Logs and other wood material acts as a buffer and helps limit erosion caused by wave action.   When the flood risk has passed, officials will outline how to remove and dispose of this material.

Boaters on lakes in the Central Okanagan are reminded to keep their speeds and wakes down to prevent shoreline erosion from preventable wave action.  They should also watch for floating debris.  In preparation of potential flooding, docks or boats must be properly secured.  Boat owners with boats on lifts may choose to remove their boat from the lift and trailer it for safe storage.  For tips on protecting boats and a video on how to docks visit the Flood FAQ page at www.cordemergency.ca/beprepared/flood-faq

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