This large pump is just one of the flood protection measures being taken in Peachland. A total of 1.7 kilometres of bladder dam will be installed along part of the Peachland lakeshore over the next few days.—Image credit: Kathy Michaels/CapitalNews

Okanagan Lake rising again; rain in the forecast

Additional protection measures being employed along Peachland’s lakeshore.

After a one-day dip in the level of Okanagan Lake, the water is rising again.

As of Wednesday morning, the level of Okanagan Lake was 343.248 metres, seven millimetres higher than Tuesday morning’s level as measured by Environment and Climate Change Canada. It was two millimetres higher than Monday’s level. Kalamalka Lake continued its trend downward over the past few days and was measured at 392.438 m Wednesday but remains high, said the Emergency Operations Centre.

Meanwhile, the District of Peachland will see the arrival of a 1.7 kilometres of bladder dam system today, to be installed over the next few days between 4284 and 5393 Beach Avenue. Alternating road closures on Beach Avenue may be necessary to accommodate the installation. Pedestrian access may be impacted on Centennial Way from 12 Street to 13 Street. Pedestrians can access the water at the 13 Street pier.

The public is reminded to stay off flood protection measures. Jumping or walking on gabions or water dams is a public safety concern and could damage or undermine the device causing ruptures and significant water flows.

Central Okanagan Emergency crews are also continuing to assess, repair and fortify flood protection measures already in place.

The EOC says Environment Canada forecasts show weather continues to be a consideration affecting lake levels. Rain is expected Thursday with intermittent showers over the weekend. Residents may see lake levels and creek flows increase.

The public is also being urged to stay away from creek banks, which can be slippery and subject to erosion from higher levels and flows. As well, watch and be prepared for any potential rapid increases in levels and flows.

Residents who think that they are at risk should install or bolster flood protection measures, like sandbag dikes, as well as remove valuables from basements and crawlspaces. For more information, check out the updated flood watch maps and FAQs at www.cordemergency.ca.

Emergency officials continue to ask residents and visitors to find wake-free options to enjoy Okanagan Lake in the weeks ahead. Respectful operation of watercraft is urged so that boat wakes do not cause further erosion or flooding of lakeshore properties. Wake is just one of the concerns, as boaters need to be cautious about wood debris floating under the surface of the lake and submerged infrastructure, such as displaced docks.

Boaters are reminded to be familiar with their routes and ensure they know which marinas are carrying fuel.

While committed to responding to the flood risks, Emergency Operations Centre personnel are also planning for the demobilization and recovery period. Residents should keep all flood protection measures in place until the EOC issues information on what actions to take to begin the recovery.

All evacuation alerts and orders remain in effect, and residents in those areas should be prepared to leave on short notice if conditions change and there is a threat to public safety. Visit www.cordemergency.ca/map to search by address to determine if an area is under alert or order, or to find the closest sand and sandbag locations.

Supporting local is one of the ways residents and visitors can help local businesses. The Central Okanagan continues to be a great place to visit and play with many options to enjoy the region.

For municipal information, such as boat launch, park and beach closures, and water quality advisories, visit individual municipal websites.