High water level forecast

Water level in Okanagan Lake could rise by as much as 27.5 centimetres by mid-June

Municipal crews, homeowners along Okanagan Lake and volunteers from the community are continuing their efforts to minimize damages from rising water levels.

On Sunday, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations reported that the water level in Okanagan Lake could rise by as much as 27.5 centimetres.

This latest prediction calls for the lake to reach a level of 343.5 metres by the middle of June.

The rising water level is now affecting properties away from the lakefront area in Trout Creek.

On Nixon Road, Ralph and Joan Critchlow have been watching as the front yard of their Nixon Road home is swamped.

Across the street, towards Okanagan Lake, a beach access area is washed out and municipal crews have been working to set up a sandbag dike to control the rising water level.

The Critchlows have lived in Trout Creek around 40 years and have experienced high water conditions in the past, but this is the worst they can recall.

Water has been seeping into their crawlspace, but so far, the living area of their house does not have water damage.

During this year’s flooding, they have been impressed with the efforts made by their neighbours, who have helped deliver and set up sandbags where needed.

“People have been doing extraordinary things,” Ralph Critchlow said.

Because the water level is so high, people who do not live in areas affected by the flooding are asked to refrain from driving through, as residents are struggling to keep up with the protection of their properties.

To protect from waves, property owners living near the lake are being urged to consider sandbagging to approximately 80 centimetres above the lake level.

The municipality has piles of sand available at several lakefront areas.

In addition, a sandbagging machine has been set up at the Summerland Arena parking lot Monday to Friday of this week.

The machine is capable of filling up to 1,500 bags an hour, with the assistance of Ministry of Forests fire crews, the Summerland Fire Department and municipal employees.