Drier weather will ease flood threat

Okanagan Lake is close to being full, but unless there are heavy rains, flooding could be averted this year.

Lakefront property owners should be doing what they can to protect their property, as Okanagan Lake is just eight centimetres from full pool, and heavy rains could push it over that ideal level.

Concerns about flooding have shifted now from along Mission Creek to the lake, where property owners are advised to be prepared to take flooding precautions, says Jason Brolund, Central Okanagan emergency services coordinator.

The lake will fill this year, as there is still snow melting from high elevations around the valley, and heavy rains in addition to that could cause flooding.

He asked that lakefront property owners leave debris that washes up on their beaches in place right now because it helps to prevent erosion. Clean-up can be done later in the year.

Since mid-May, the natural resource operations ministry has been releasing the maximum amount of water from Okanagan Lake, says Des Anderson, section head, public safety and protection.

The early May spell of hot weather caused a rush of melting snow to run off into the lake, but because cooler weather followed, the melt is now more consistent and slower, he explained.

That early melt means the lake is higher than it normally would be at this time of year, but because much of the snow has melted from high elevations, he’s not too concerned now about the impact of runoff from melting snow.

What could throw a wrench into an orderly melt is if there are heavy rains, but the forecast for this weekend is for drier weather, followed by a new series of storms next week.

Anderson reports that Osoyoos Lake is dropping from its peak of 1.7 feet above ideal, and the level of the Similkameen River has dropped from its peak as well. It was backing up into Osoyoos Lake.

The level of Okanagan Lake is about a week or 10 days ahead of normal, but he’s reassured by a forecast of drier weather.

Brolund said there are sand bags available at local firehalls for property-owners who need to protect their property.

He advised boaters to be on the alert for debris and logs which have washed into the lake with high creek levels.

 

jsteeves@kelownacapnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Column: Make it a green Christmas

Instead of purchasing a cuddly stuffie this year, put your money towards helping the real thing.

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Kelowna city councillor suggests bringing back photo radar

Gail Given says it could help generate traffic fine revenue for the city—and make roads safer

‘Game changer” research deal between three B.C. Interior universities

UBCO, TRU, UNBC say deal will help innovation, research, aid students and increase quality of life

What’s happening

Find out about the events happening in your community this weekend

Lind nets three in Rockets win; Dube and Foote named to Canada’s roster

Kole Lind returns from national junior camp to lead Rockets to victory in P.A.

Interior Health holding immunization clinic in Vernon Saturday

IH issues list of Okanagan meningococcal immunization clinics

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Annual Christmas meal held as Kelowna Gospel Mission

The meal will be held tomorrow from 12 to 6 p.m.

Michaels: Big Brother has become a big letdown

“You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide, but privacy should still have some appeal.”

One convicted, two cleared in 2014 deaths of men in B.C.’s Cariboo

Andrew Jongbloets convicted of manslaughter in deaths of Matthew Hennigar, 23 and Kalvin Andy, 22

Accused Shuswap drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

Most Read