It’s expected that with warmer daytime temperatures in the forecast, more snow in the higher elevations will melt resulting in faster flows and rising levels of Central Okanagan creeks and streams. The BC River Forecast Centre has a High Streamflow Advisory in place for the Okanagan, which means river levels are rising or expected to rise rapidly, but that no major flooding is expected. Minor flooding in low-lying areas is possible.
The Central Okanagan Emergency Program and local governments continue to monitor weather patterns and water levels as the higher elevation snow melts and flows into local water courses. Property owners in low-lying or flood-prone areas and along Okanagan Lake are asked to consider the steps they need to take to prepare and protect their properties as conditions can change rapidly during the spring runoff.
Information and pamphlets on flood preparedness including a recommended method for sandbag diking are available from the Regional District of Central Okanagan office (1450 KLO Road) and the main City of Kelowna fire hall on Enterprise Way as well as on the Regional Emergency Operation Centre website www.cordemergency.ca and the Emergency Management BC website: pep.bc.ca/floods/preparedness.html.
Anyone noticing a potential problem or flooding concern in the Central Okanagan is asked to call the Regional Fire Dispatch at: 250-469-8801. Sandbags are available at local fire halls for any property owner facing imminent danger from flooding.
At this time of year, Central Okanagan residents are asked to use caution around all local water bodies. People are reminded that water levels may rise unexpectedly and they and their pets should stay safely back from creek banks, which may be slippery or subject to erosion from the spring runoff. Okanagan Lake boaters are also advised to be on the look-out for floating debris carried into the lake from rising and faster flowing tributaries.
In the event of an emergency and activation of the Central Okanagan Emergency Operation Centre (EOC), the latest information will be available online at the new EOC Public Information website: www.cordemergency.ca.