Flood mitigation work along Kelowna’s Mill Creek is close to completion, but officials continue to urge residents in the area to take measures to protect their properties.
With snowpack melt from higher elevations well under way, peak flow of the creek is expected within the next three weeks.
“The priority right now is Mill Creek,” said Axelle Bazett, public information officer for the Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Centre. “That’s the urban area along the creek, from Parkinson Recreation Centre, all the way to the lake, and that work is complete.
“However as the creek rises, we may have to go back in and raise those protective measures again.”
Bazett said the rising levels of Mill Creek are being monitored on an hourly basis. The biggest variable in predicting exactly when and how high the creek will crest is the weather.
“What can’t be predicted is the temperatures as well as precipitation,” she said. “Those are all factors that could influence how fast, quickly and how high the creeks will go. We can’t predict what that will look like, but will do our best to put those measures in place.”
A local state of emergency was declared April 26 to allow crews access to private properties to put the necessary protection measures in place.
Crews have been installing tiger dams and sand bags, and have been removing large pieces of debris from the creek.
Bazett said all creeks in the Central Okanagan are being monitored, but due to last year’s flooding in the area, Mill Creek is currently getting the most attention.
“We’re urging residents to get ready in the event of flooding. Those who have experienced it before are being alerted to plan ahead.”
Sand bags are available to Central Okanagan residents at 15 locations, including two in Kelowna at the Apple Bowl and Rowcliffe Park.
For the time being, the levels in Okanagan Lake are not considered to be a concern.
Visit cordemergency.ca for the most up to date information, and resources on how to be prepared to keep your family and property safe.
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