Okanagan Lake level continues to rise - News release #76

Friday, May 26, 2017 - 2:48pm

The Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Center has been working daily with the Province and private sector on determining the potential risks based on predicted lake levels.  There are a number of variables that change daily.  This morning we received a new forecast that indicated Okanagan Lake levels could increase another 10 – 15 cms.

Going into the weekend, residents and visitors to the Central Okanagan are reminded to leave flood protection measures in place and bolster them in preparation for high water and possible windy conditions. High lake levels and variable weather conditions are expected to persist for the foreseeable future.

Lots of snow remaining at higher elevations will cause Mission Creek to reach extremely high flows as it melts, potentially exceeding 100-cubic-metres-per-second in the days ahead. Residents living along Mission Creek, especially those closer to the lake, are urged to fortify the flood protection around their properties, due to increasing lake levels and potential for back water effect.

Properties affected by Tuesday evening’s wind storm should be prepared to weather even worse conditions in the weeks ahead.  The lake is already 10 cms higher than last Tuesday and could potentially increase another 15 cms over the coming days.

Okanagan Lake rose less than a centimetre overnight to 343 metres, reaching the flood level forecasted three weeks ago. Kalamalka Lake is currently above full pool at 392.4m.

This is a weather driven event and things will continue to evolve and change with the weather. A sudden change in weather could increase the risk of flooding.

Information will be released as it becomes available. For information about sandbagging and other flood frequently asked questions, visit www.cordemergency.ca/beprepared/flood-faq.

Environment Canada is calling for hot weather over the next week with the potential for windy conditions by mid-week.

Boating on area lakes continues to be discouraged due to potential debris hazards, submerged infrastructure and shoreline erosion caused by boat wake. Recreational trail users should use caution, stay back from creek banks and watch for unexpected rapid flow and level increases.

Wildfires already burning in British Columbia are a good reminder that even though flooding is top of mind, it’s dry out there and fire season is already underway. Residents and visitors are encouraged to be fire smart, ensuring any campfires are properly extinguished and not carelessly disposing of cigarettes.

For municipal information such as boat launch, park and beach closures, and water quality advisories, visit their websites:

All evacuation alerts and orders remain in effect. Check out the map at www.cordemergency.ca/map and search by address to determine if an area is under alert or order, or to find the closest sand and sandbag locations.