Take Measures to Meet New Okanagan Lake Planning Level - News Release #93
Central Okanagan, B.C. – As of Monday morning, the level of Okanagan Lake was 343.246 m, 1 centimetre above Sunday morning’s level (as measured by Environment and Climate Change Canada). Kalamalka Lake dropped 0.5 centimetres to 392.450 metres in the same timeframe.
Local government crews and BC Forestry crews have been deployed to inspect existing barriers after last night’s high winds, review protection in vulnerable areas and make all required adjustments.
The Emergency Operations Centre will be using a lake level of 343.5 metres as a planning number for analyzing flood protection measures and residents in impacted areas are advised to do the same. Residents should also ensure protective measures include an additional buffer for wave action.
Although the snowpack is decreasing at higher elevations and the rate of rise on Okanagan Lake is somewhat easing, the level of Okanagan Lake exceeds historic highs, and levels could increase more sharply with significant rainfall. Approximately 50% of the upper level snow pack has yet to melt. For these reasons, and for planning purposes, private property owners should follow the lead of local governments and work to protect their properties to a lake level of up to 343.5 metres, plus a 60cm buffer for wave action for a total of 344.1m.
On Sunday, an additional 200,000 sandbags were brought into replenish supplies. Sandbags may be in tight supply until Tuesday, when an additional 500,000 will arrive. The slower day to day rise of the lake provides enough time for additional sandbag supplies to arrive. Residents’ patience is appreciated. Residents in need of sand and sandbags can find locations at www.cordemergency.ca/map.
Property owners pumping water from structures should pump into natural areas such as nearby creeks, ditches or lawns and not into storm drains or the sanitary sewer system.
All Evacuation Alerts and Orders remain in place. Visit www.cordemergency.ca/map to search by address to determine if an area is under alert or order.
Residents and visitors are reminded to stay off flood protection measures. Jumping or walking on gabions or water dams is a public safety concern and could damage or undermine the device causing ruptures and significant water flows.
Go wake-free on Okanagan Lake! Residents and visitors are encouraged to find non-motorized boating options to enjoy Okanagan Lake. Those choosing to use motorized watercraft are urged to be respectful – slow down and keep away from shore so wakes do not cause further erosion or flooding of lakeshore properties. Boaters also need to be cautious about wood debris floating under the surface of the lake and submerged infrastructure.
For municipal information such as boat launch, park and beach closures, and water quality advisories, visit their websites:
Keep informed by signing up for e-updates at www.cordemergency.ca, or call the information line at 250-469-8490.