Recovery efforts ongoing - News Release #130

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 - 1:56pm

BC wildfire crews are wrapping up work in the Central Okanagan before redeployment to other locations in the province. Local contactors will continue to help with recovery efforts, moving forward with sandbag and lake debris removal. 

Sandbag removal

Waterfront property owners with sandbag walls can begin to lower them, but should keep them at a level that protects against wind and wave action to a height of 60 centimetres above the current lake level.  

Residents can continue to support flood recovery efforts by bringing sandbags to the street front for pickup and disposal. Burlap and polypropylene bags should be divided into separate piles at the curb.

Residents removing sandbags and working around stagnant water should also take precautions to protect themselves, by wearing gloves and rubber boots, as well as washing hands regularly.

Under no circumstances should sandbags be emptied into any creeks, lakes, wetland, beaches or other watercourses as outlined in the Water Sustainability Act. The impact can destroy fish habitat and affect drinking water supply, infrastructure, flood control, navigation and recreational activities.

To make sure sandbags are recorded for pick up, Emergency Management BC has provided a sandbag recovery application, available at www.cordemergency.ca/beprepared/flood-recovery

Debris removal

Barges are removing unnatural debris from the shore of local lakes – broken docks, unregistered boats, garbage and barrels – along with large trees or stumps. Removal of these materials is complete for most public beach and park areas. The barge is working today at the south end of Kelowna and will be moving later this week to McKinley Landing in Kelowna, north along the shore through Lake Country and then across the lake to North Westside Road. A separate contractor will be starting later this week at the South end of Kalamaka Lake and Wood Lake. Any woody debris that residents do not want removed should be clearly marked.

Small woody debris on private property is the responsibility of residents. It can disposed of as yard waste and put into the curbside yard waste bin providing it meets acceptable size limits under the program.

Yard-waste type debris may also be taken to the Glenmore landfill free in loads up to 250 kilograms and less than 5 centimetres in circumference. 

  • Loads over 250 kilograms are assessed at $40.00 per metric tonne fee for disposal.
  • Prunings over 5 centimetres in circumference and less than 20 centimetres in diameter, are charged at $10.00 per metric tonne
  • Logs, limbs and branches greater than 20 centimetres in diameter are accepted at $10.00 per metric tonne. Logs, limbs and branches must be cut to a maximum length of 4 feet (no rocks or soil).
  • Regular tipping fees apply for larger diameter debris or garbage in excess of the 250 kilogram maximum.

Yard-waste sized debris may also be taken to:

  • The Westside Residential Waste Disposal and Recycling Centre on Asquith Road in West Kelowna. Regular yard waste disposal charge applies.
  • The transfer stations at Traders Cove and North Westside with a maximum load of 250 kilograms, 10 bags or one pick-up truck load.

See the Regional District Regional Yard Waste Program for more information https://www.regionaldistrict.com/your-services/waste-reduction-office/yard-waste.aspx

Lake Levels

Overnight, Okanagan Lake dropped 1.9 centimetres to 342.84 metres above sea level.  The lake remains just over 36 centimetres above full pool, the normal lake level for this time of year. Since Monday morning, the level of Kalamalka Lake fell another 3.7 centimetres to 392.09 metres, 38 centimetres above full pool.

More information

As lake levels continue to decline slowly, the Emergency Operations Center will no longer be providing daily lake level and flooding updates. The lake level graph on cordemergency.ca will be updated during the week. Starting Wednesday, July 12, news releases will be issued on an as-needed basis only

For the most up-to-date information about sandbag pick up, drop-off locations and disposal, as well as debris clean up from public and private land, go to cordemergency.ca or call the new flood-recovery information phone line at 250-470-0674. The information line will be open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., from Monday to Friday.

For municipal information about boat launches, parks and beaches, and water quality advisories, visit their websites:

To stay informed about flooding and the recovery efforts, visit www.cordemergency.ca, sign up for e-updates or call the information line at 250-470-0674.