Peachland pummelled by storm

Peachland’s picturesque blue docks have all been destroyed

Peachland’s picture perfect blue docks have all been destroyed.

Four were already irrevocably damaged by the continually rising waters of Okanagan Lake and Thursday night’s windstorm took out what remained, said Cheryl Wiebe, the District of Peachland’s Director of Community Services Friday morning, following an assessment of the damage.

Although the blue docks may be some of the most noticeable infrastructure to have suffered in Peachland, homes, businesses, other city infrastructure, roads and even the measures installed to protect these things from the weather have all taken a beating.

A portion of the Tiger Dam expected to span Beach Avenue, from 12th to Williams Street, was ripped right from where it had been installed, and was rolling around it the lake for awhile on Thursday.

Measures to protect Highway 97, near Antlers Beach, also suffered.

Ministry of Highways operations manager Jeff Wiseman said a lock-block wall was installed about 10 days prior to the storm and it toppled over due to the waves, but continued to act as a break-water, as designed.

The ministry is currently bringing in more protective material in the form of rip-rap, and it’s expected to span a five kilometre stretch.

Wiseman said the integrity of the highway was not threatened in the wind event but they are working hard in preparation for more winds in the forecast.

While much of what has been destroyed is being rebuilt, Wiebe said that she can’t say with any certainty whether the blue docks will make a comeback.

While there has been lots of damage to report in the area, Wiebe said that the Swim Bay in Peachland has survived and it’s still open, with lifeguards expected to take their stations by next weekend.

The fact that Peachland remains open for business despite its current troubles is something a lot of Peachlanders want to point out.

It’s been slow going with fewer tourists making their way to the waterfront town, but everyone from restauranteurs to shop owners have pointed out that they are open for business and it’s still the place to be when the weather is warm.

Vic Langdon of Beach Ride Rentals in Peachland is in his first year of business at the tourism location and despite the bladder dams and the wacky weather he’s content with the season.

Plus, he said, kayaks and paddle boards are the perfect way to get on the lake and not disturb the shoreline.