Sandbags along the banks of Mill Creek in Kelowna. -Image: City of Kelowna

Kelowna crews completing work ahead of peak flows

City of Kelowna, BC Wildfire service personnel continue flood mitigation work along Mill Creek

City of Kelowna staff continue to prepare for the peak of the spring runoff, increasing creek capacity and working with BC Wildfire Service personnel and contractors to place flood protection along creeks.

Mill Creek remains the main focus of flood protection measures. These include placement of bladder dams, sandbags and the raising of some pedestrian pathways. Tree thinning, brush and debris removal along the waterway is nearly complete, while crews continue to monitor creeks for possible blockages.

“It’s important that we have enough carrying capacity in the creek to handle possible surges in flow from rainfall or rapid snow melt in the hills due to higher temperatures in the forecast,” said Alan Newcombe, Divisional Director of Infrastructure.

Dredging, along with tree and deadfall removal below the high-water mark in Mill Creek, was permitted by the provincial government for the first time in a number of years.

“The City and the province are protective of the natural environment, but we are also responsible for protecting civic infrastructure which in turn protects our residents. We wish we did not have to, but with the reality of the flooding risk and what that impact could be, this work had to be done,” he said.

Work conducted by the city is also supported by the Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Centre. On April 26 Kelowna declared a local state of emergency specifically for Mill Creek to allow crews to access specific private properties to place protection measures to protect public infrastructure.

A berm is being created near Spencer Road to protect it and Mill Creek Regional Park from high water, while sandbags and bladder dams line the creek intermittently from north of the Kelowna International Airport to Okanagan Lake.

ALSO READ: Resident concerned with impact of flood mitigations on wildlife

Other improvements are in place along Mill Creek to protect infrastructure near Kelowna International Airport and near the Central Okanagan Hospice House.

Low lake levels have been maintained to accommodate this year’s spring runoff. Properties along Okanagan Lake are not expected to be at risk of flooding at this time, and are not currently in need of protection.

Record setting rainfall in 2017 combined with snow melt, saturated ground, and high groundwater levels resulted in major flooding along Mill Creek with considerable damage to Bellevue Creek and the Okanagan Lake foreshore.

Property owners living near creeks, streams, low-lying areas and lakefront are responsible for having a plan and protecting their properties. Subscribe to receive email updates or learn more about local, provincial and federal preparedness resources at cordemergency.ca

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Grass fire reported near Traders Cove

West Kelowna - Emergency crews are responding to reports of a grass fire today

Okanagan Lake levels rising

The lake hit full pool today

Lake Country residents to meet with district to discuss public beaches

Carr’s Landing residents are invited to provide feedback to the district

Kelowna residents enjoy May Days parade

The 59th annual May Days celebration takes place this weekend

Big-time Kelowna band to rock Ponderosa

Yukon Blonde is touring Canada

VIDEO: Grand Forks shores up defences as floodwaters rise to peak levels

Canadian Forces, volunteers working to protect low-lying areas

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

Wellington Dukes pull off epic upset of Wenatchee at RBC Cup

The Dukes are off to the championship game after downing the Wild 2-1 Saturday at Prospera Centre.

Canada to face U.S. for bronze at world hockey championship

Canada was looking to play in the gold medal game for a fourth straight year, but saw 3-2 loss

Olympic gold medallist returns to Summerland

Justin Kripps brought his gold medal to Summerland Secondary Thursday

Searchers for Vancouver Island father turn focus to Cowichan River

Cowichan SAR joined by many other SAR groups, volunteers now determined to find missing man

Vacationers urged to check for stowaway bats that could carry deadly disease

‘White-nose syndrome’ has killed millions of bats in North America, but hasn’t arrived in B.C. yet

Are B.C.’s gas prices enough to keep you from travelling May long weekend?

Gas prices in B.C. ranging from 125 cents per litre to more than 150 cents

Most Read