Flood protection removal begins

Kelowna - Flood protection removal begins for the Central and North Okanagan

Through the weekend, flood protection will be removed on private properties along sections of shoreline in Lake Country and West Kelowna. Waterfront property owners can also begin to remove sandbags.

In Lake Country, BC Wildfire Crew contractors will be removing sandbag defences from the bottom of Wood Lake Road, Turtle Bay and Woodsdale areas, while in West Kelowna, flood protection and sandbags will be cleared from the Okanagan Lake waterfront in the Casa Loma and Pritchard areas, according to a Central Okanagan Emergency Operations release. The work in West Kelowna is expected to continue through Tuesday.

Work is expected to take place between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Residents in these areas will be notified via electronic roadside signboards, through local media and the Emergency Operations Centre communication channels. Sign up to receive e-updates from the EOC.

The interactive map has been updated to show where and when crews are working to demobilize sandbags, including the Lake Country and West Kelowna locations on private property.

Crews will continue working through the weekend on removing flood protection on public lands in low risk flood areas along the waterfront in Kelowna and Peachland.

Demobilization and recovery is taking place in these areas where lake levels have receded making it safe to remove flood protection measures. Other residents should keep all flood defences in place until the Emergency Operations Centre issues notification through on-street signage and public service announcements.

Waterfront property owners removing sandbags should keep a wall protecting against wind and wave action to a height of 60 centimetres above the current lake level (Okanagan Lake – 342.914m / Kal Lake – 392.14m). 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 outline in the Water Sustainability Act. The impact can destroy fish habitat and affect drinking water supply, infrastructure, flood control, navigation and recreational activities.

More information about sandbag locations for drop off, debris removal, details about recovery efforts, and a link to the online Emergency Management BC sandbag recovery application along with a tool for residents to report damage to their properties, is available.

As a reminder, the previously issued evacuation order for several waterfront properties north of Killiney Beach Community Park in the RDCO Central Okanagan West Electoral Area remains in effect.

In addition, four evacuation alerts are in effect in the District of Lake Country, one for a property in Kelowna, an alert for properties in the Green Bay area of West Kelowna and one the Westbank First Nation reserve along the Okanagan Lake waterfront north of the W.R. Bennett Bridge.