Time to get prepared for further flooding - News Release #31

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 - 8:31pm

Kelowna, B.C –  With warm temperatures, rising freezing levels and 25-40 mm of rain forecast for Thursday to Sunday, rising water levels throughout the valley are a real concern. Warmer than average temperatures are expected to begin the high elevation snowpack melt and combine with the heavy precipitation to raise local lake levels and create record flows in creeks. 

Residents near floodplains are being asked to prepare for a second wave of high water.

Citizens who live in low-lying areas near creeks and lakes that may be susceptible to flooding should also take preventative measures to protect their properties. All measures currently being used to protect private properties should remain in place.

Sand and sandbags are available throughout the region. See the map at cordemergency.ca for current locations. The community is encouraged to support one another practically by offering neighbours assistance.

An advanced planning team and staff from local governments from across the Central Okanagan have been working around the clock since last week. The region-wide team is monitoring and preparing for increasing water levels expected by the end of the week. Plans are in place to protect vital public infrastructure.

Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall may cause flooding of small creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses as well as other drainage areas and low-lying spots. Turn around when encountering flooded roads, don’t attempt to drive through or around the water.

Residents are asked to continue to exercise caution near any area creeks and streams.  Flood waters may contain a number of hazards including raw sewage, chemical and biological contaminants, fast moving water, debris, entrapment and unseen hazards. Please keep children and pets safely back from creek banks, which may be slippery or subject to erosion by the higher, swifter moving water.  There is also the potential for unexpected rapid increases in water levels. 

For up to date information on the situation including a map and to sign up for e-updates, visit http://www.cordemergency.ca/ .

Information on Flood Preparedness

The Preparedness BC website has information to help those property owners with protecting their property from flooding:

http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/public-safety-and-emergency-services/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/embc/preparedbc/preparedbc_flood_information_for_homeowners_and_home_buyers_web.pdf

A number of Water Quality Advisories and Boil Water Notices are in place in the Central Okanagan. Check with your water service provider for the most up-to-date information.

Information on flooding and electrical safety is also available for BC Hydro and FortisBC customers:  www.bchydro.com  www.fortisbc.com

Information will also be provided via the https://twitter.com/CO_Emerg and https://www.facebook.com/CORDEmergency/ or by phone at 250-469-8490 or 1-877-569-8490 (toll-free).