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

Kelowna RCMP tackle man in Glenmore area

A witness saw RCMP make an arrest on Valley Road just after 6 p.m.

Minor car accident involves Kelowna motorcyclist

Access to Wardlaw Avenue is temporarily restricted

Outdoor Kelowna fields not ready just yet

It’s warming up and Kelowna’s outdoor fields are almost ready

Kelowna Fan Experience comes to life this weekend

The organizer of the two day event promises to be filled with fun

Kelowna RCMP search for suspect who allegedly stabbed man

The victim is in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

VIDEO: Sunny skies in the forecast makes for a great start to spring

Mostly sunny skies with a chance of rain by Friday evening in the Okanagan Valley

Small landslide closes Vernon road

City crews estimate Okanagan Bench Row Road will reopen at about 2:30 a.m.

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Give a hoot and don’t touch baby birds

SORCO raptor rehab reminds residents to stop before they touch baby bird

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Father, former child soldier, seeks better life for family in Shuswap

Salmon Arm volunteers begin fundraising effort to help family resettle in Canada

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

Most Read