Blocked culverts on Swainson Road caused runoff to overflow onto the road as city crews enhanced the roadside ditch outflow capacity. (Barry Gerding - Black Press Media)

Blocked culverts on Swainson Road caused runoff to overflow onto the road as city crews enhanced the roadside ditch outflow capacity. (Barry Gerding - Black Press Media)

Clogged Kelowna road culverts cause flooding

City crews clean up Swainson Road runoff blockage

City of Kelowna public works crews are repairing flood damage generated from a rainstorm Wednesday on Swainson Road in the Black Mountain area.

Geert Bos, city public works manager, said the flooding was the result of a combination of rainfall and water runoff blocked by road and driveway culverts clogged with snow, ice and sediment.

Bos said crews were out Friday to provide initial repairs to the shoulder and driveway entry points, and get the runoff flowing along a freshly upgraded ditch along Swainson, a small rural road off McKenzie Avenue.

“We are just trying to make it safe this weekend for the residents and businesses along the road, and we’ll be back next week to do some permanent repairs and fixes,” he said.

Residents commented to local media about frustrations with ongoing flooding issues when rain and snow are combined to clog up culverts.

While they cited the Frind Vineyard, being converted from an orchard, as the root source, Bos was hesitant to confirm the source of the problem without further consultation.

“Our task with public works is to fix the problem but as to the root cause, I have notified other departments within city hall that can do a more extensive look at why this happened,” he said.

“When it comes to the root cause, we want to make sure we are on sure footing and all our i’s dotted and t’s crossed.”

He noted the city does have a proactive culvert inspection program “to keep an eye on these types of things from happening. This one kind of snuck up on us.”

READ MORE: Kelowna RCMP claim of criminal charge backlog ‘grossly inaccurate’: Crown Counsel

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B.C. Floods 2021Kelowna