Rain prompts renewed creek safety warning

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 - 11:11am

News Release No. 19 Central Okanagan, B.C.  – Following Wednesday morning’s rainfall, residents across the Central Okanagan region are being reminded to exercise caution and stay away from creeks as flow rates are expected to increase.

After a rain event it can take between a few hours and a few days for the effects to be reflected downstream. Crews have been responding to isolated and localized flooding incidents.

“People should stay well away from all creeks in the region,” says the Central Okanagan’s Emergency Operations Centre. “Higher water levels, increased flows and slippery banks can all be hazards and should be avoided.”

As of late Wednesday morning, Mission Creek is flowing at a seasonally normal rate. Mitigation efforts already in place, including raised dikes installed last year, are anticipated to be sufficient for this year’s flows.

Officials continue to monitor all creeks in the region including McDougall and Powers creeks in West Kelowna, and Mill, Mission and Bellevue creeks in Kelowna.

Local states of emergency remain in place for Peachland, West Kelowna, and Kelowna and in the Central Okanagan’s West Electoral Area in the vicinity of Westside Road N from 5625 Westside Road to the Regional Boundary. These allow crews to access private properties so they can proactively place flood protection measures along creeks to protect public infrastructure.

Flood prevention and mitigation efforts continue throughout the region as officials monitor roads, culverts, creeks and streams in conjunction with weather patterns.

Okanagan Lake remains below full pool at this time. Other small area lakes may fluctuate more and monitoring is an on-going process.

Property owners near creeks and streams, especially those who may have experienced flooding in the past, are being asked to proactively prepare. Self-serve sand and sandbags are available across the Central Okanagan. Several evacuation alerts and orders continue to remain throughout the region.

For up-to-date information, including evacuation alerts and orders that remain in place, as well as flood-preparedness resources, sign up for e-updates, visit cordemergency.ca, or call the information line at 250-469-8490 or 1-877-569-8490 (toll-free).