The Gellatly Road Bridge had to be weighed down earlier this week with concrete blocks during the height of the flow in Powers Creek.—Image credit: Alistair Waters/Capital News

Flood threatened West Kelowna bridges re-open

The bridges on Shannon Lake Road and Gellatly Road open to single-lane, alternating traffic.

West Kelowna has re-opened two bridges closed to traffic recently due rising creek levels.

The bridge over McDougall Creek on Shannon Lake Road and the Gellatly Road Bridge over Powers Creek at Gellatly Bay have both been re-opened to single-lane alternating traffic only. Both were threatened by high water levels in the creeks.

The city also said it has opened the Gellatly boat launch for the Victoria Day long weekend. Gellatly Road from Witt Road to Angus Drive remains closed indefinitely.

Motorists using the two bridges are asked to obey the temporary traffic signals and signage installed at the Shannon Lake Road bridge and the traffic flaggers—on site between from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.—at the Gellatly Road bridge.

The RCMP will be monitoring both of areas to ensure motorists comply the with traffic controls.

According to the city, Gellatly Road from Witt Road to Angus Drive remains closed to traffic because Smith Creek, which runs parallel to that section of Gellatly Road, has eroded the banks of the road. Motorists are asked to continue using the detour, via Carrall and Witt Roads and respect the 30 kilometre-per-hour speed limit on the detour route.

Speed bumps have been installed along the detour route to slow traffic and large trucks should avoid the residential area and use an alternate route to the lower part of Gellatly Road and the Gellatly Bay area.

The Gellatly Boat Launch was expected to open yesterday afternoon, in time for the long weekend.

Boaters are asked to use extreme caution on Okanagan Lake, to watch for debris in the water and ensure slow speeds within 30 metres of the shore. “No Wake” signs have been posted at city boat launches, as wave action can cause shoreline erosion and damage to infrastructure.

West Kelowna city hall said the city remains on flood watch and the public is asked not to touch flood protection, including sandbags and bladder dams. These have been placed strategically to protect community infrastructure and will likely remain in place for some time.

Residents who have taken steps to prepare their properties for flood are asked to leave flood mitigation measures in place and not to remove debris on beaches at this time. The debris can act as a cushion for waves and reduce sand erosion, says city hall.

Residents in West Kelowna and on Westbank First Nation land can find sand and sandbags at the following locations:

• In Green Bay at 1341 Green Bay Road, Osprey Park and at the Wiig Road cul-de-sac

• 2606 and 2714 Casa Loma Road

• 1651 Pritchard Drive

• 4081 Hitchner Road

• 2589 Whitworth Rd (Pebble Beach Park)

• Across from the WFN Works and Utilities yard at the intersection of Cougar Road and Elk Road (approximate address 3500 Red Cloud Way) · 515 Highway 97 South (WFN Government Building) to the right of the main parking lot