Another 157 homes were put on evacuation alert in the afternoon. Photo credit Bob Marsh

Another 157 homes were put on evacuation alert in the afternoon. Photo credit Bob Marsh

Flood threat to Tulameen “very serious”

Half the community evacuated and water continues to rise

The threat posed by flood waters in Tulameen “is very serious,” according to Cameron Baughan, information officer for the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen.

Approximately half the community was evacuated Sunday morning, after Otter Lake rose “very quickly” the previous night.

After lake levels continued to climb throughout the day, a state of emergency was declared and the rest of the area was put on evacuation alert.

As of 4 p.m. Sunday 147 properties were evacuated, and 157 were on alert.

Baughan had no estimate on current water levels, but said the lake has compromised homes in the north side of the town.

It is also not immediately possible to estimate the number of people impacted by the evacuation order and alert, as many Tulameen homes are seasonal.

Evacuees are being directed to Riverside Centre in Princeton where they can register and be assigned hotel accommodations and food vouchers.

Baughan said if the snowpack descends suddenly the situation could worsen “in a very short time.”

Experts along with Tulameen firefighters are continuing to monitor the situation, and an update may be provided late Sunday night.

Related: Update: Over 140 properties being evacuated in Tulameen

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There were no estimates Sunday on the volume of water flowing from Otter Lake through the community. Photo credit Bob Marsh.

There were no estimates Sunday on the volume of water flowing from Otter Lake through the community. Photo credit Bob Marsh.

Residents left their homes throughout the day. Photo credit: Bob Marsh

Residents left their homes throughout the day. Photo credit: Bob Marsh

RDOS officials are encouraging residents now under evacuation alert to be ready to leave quickly. Photo credit: Bob Marsh.

RDOS officials are encouraging residents now under evacuation alert to be ready to leave quickly. Photo credit: Bob Marsh.