Severe thunderstorm watch, increased lake level predictions - News Release #86

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 - 4:00pm

Central Okanagan, B.C. - Environment Canada has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the Central Okanagan, North Okanagan and South Okanagan with conditions favourable to thunderstorms, strong winds, hail and heavy rain. Based on a number of variables including rain and snow melt, the Province works to determine predictive lake levels.

This afternoon the Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Centre received an updated forecast indicating Okanagan Lake levels could increase another 10 cms from today’s level of 343.15 m. With snow remaining at higher mountain elevations, Okanagan Lake is predicted to peak mid-June. Mission Creek levels are also expected to continue to rise and residents are advised to prepare for increased levels.

Latest forecasts show between 5 to 10 mm of rain expected for the Central Okanagan accompanied by wind gusts up to 70 to 80 km per hour starting this afternoon and lasting until Thursday evening. Residents are reminded that the current flooding is a weather driven event and situations continue to evolve. Sudden changes in weather can increase the risk of flooding.

The Central Okanagan Emergency Centre and local municipalities are consistently evaluating flood protection measures to protect critical infrastructure.  For more information on how to protect your property and where to find sand and sandbags, visit cordemergency.ca.

There are a number of evacuation alerts and orders that remain in place across the Central Okanagan. 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.

Emergency officials ask residents and visitors to find wake-free options to enjoy in the weeks ahead. Respectful operation of watercraft is urged so that boat wakes do not cause further erosion or flooding of lakeshore properties. Wake is just one of the concerns, as boaters need to be cautious about wood debris floating under the surface of the lake and submerged infrastructure.

While committed to responding to flood risks, the Emergency Operations Centre personnel are also planning for the demobilization and recovery period. Residents are reminded to keep all flood protection measures in place until the EOC issues information on what actions to take to begin the recovery.

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

For more information, visit www.cordemergency.ca, sign up for e-updates or call the information line at 250-469-8490.