Flood watch: It’s getting better all the time

Sandbags around creeks are being collected

The long process of collecting the sandbags girding local homes from creeks is continuing.

Okanagan Lake dropped 4.2 centimetres to 343.098 metres above sea level overnight, compared to 343.140 metres on June 23. While local lakes have declined slowly over the last week, Okanagan Lake remains 62 centimetres above full pool so waves are still a concern. Kalamalka Lake dropped 4.4 centimetres to 392.281 metres above sea level, reads the latest from the CORD Emergency Centre.

Property owners along the lakeshore should keep flood protection measures in place and routinely assess and bolster flood protection as needed. Residents can visit www.cordemergency.ca/map to find locations of pre-filled sandbags, sandbags and sand.

Do Not Dump Sand on Beaches or Waterways

Under no circumstances should sandbags be emptied on beaches or into any creeks, wetland, beaches or other watercourses as outlined in the Water Sustainability Act. The impact can destroy fish habitat and affect drinking water, infrastructure, flood control, navigation and recreational activities. Report violations to Natural Resource at 1-877-952-7277, (Option 2) toll-free or #7277 on a cellphone.

Recovery Efforts

Crews continue to take down protective measures where it is safe to do so. Approximately 90 per cent of the Mill Creek corridor has been completed; the remaining protective measures on Mill Creek will stay in place until lake levels recede further. Crews are now working to remove protective measures on IR #7 and Middle Vernon Creek. The Emergency Operations Center is looking at all other public and private areas to determine risk and priority based on lake levels, land elevation and wind patterns. A plan based on level of risk and priorities is expected to be released later this week. High use public areas will take priority over private property for removal of protective measures.

Help Identify Sandbag Locations

In preparation for further recovery efforts, the public can help inventory the number, location and type of sandbags on private and public property in the Central Okanagan by using a new online application from Emergency Management BC (EMBC).

Data gathered will be used for planning and assessment of the demobilization of flood protection measures. A flooding recovery page has been created on www.cordemergency.ca for current information on the removal of sandbags from public and private property, including a hyperlink to the EMBC sandbag app.

Residents’ patience is appreciated while recovery efforts are coordinated. In the meantime, those wanting to drop off their sandbags at their own cost can do so at more than 10 sand depots in Peachland, West Kelowna, Lake Country and Kelowna. Locations can be found on the map on cordemergency.ca.

For municipal information such as available boat launches, parks and beaches, plus water quality advisories, visit municipal websites.