A Kelowna resident braces for the rising Okanagan Lake waters with plywood. His dock is already submerged. - Credit: Carli Berry

Manhattan Point residents brace for rising waters

A Kelowna man prepares for the worst in his home on Manhattan Drive

Docks are weighted down by barrels. Okanagan Lake laps at the feet of Manhattan Point residents, causing concern as water levels rise.

Mark Breakell moved to Kelowna four years ago from Calgary and said he’s never heard of flooding in the Okanagan to this extreme.

“This is our fortifications, there’s so sense sandbagging as it will just come up over the dock,” he said, indicating the plywood structure he created at the front of his property in order to brace against the waves.

“This glass has turned from decorative to sea wall,” he said.

It wouldn’t take much more water before Breakell’s deck will be completely covered.

“Normally the water is at the second step,” he said.

His dock is already underwater, weighed down to prevent it from floating away.

His home lies on Manhattan Drive.

“My house will be fine, because it’s high and dry,” he said. The house sits a few feet above the glass.

Breakell is just one of many residents affected by the flooding.

Manhattan Point beach (900 Manhattan Drive) is currently closed. Other beaches along the road are sandbagged and bladder dams protect some lakefront properties.

As of Wednesday morning, the level of Okanagan Lake was 343.248 metres above sea level, seven millimetres more than from Tuesday morning’s level as measured by Environment and Climate Change Canada.

The lake is predicted to peak possibly as high as 343.5 m according to a Central Okanagan Emergency Operations release on June 5. By comparison, the 1948 flood peaked at about 343 m.

On Tuesday, new flood maps showed Manhattan Point as one of the at-risk areas which also includes Kelowna’s downtown waterfront.