Mission Creek appears to be on the rise again.
According to Central Okanagan Regional Emergency Program officials, the main creek feeding Okanagan Lake once again approached record levels on Sunday, as a result of more than 40 millimetres of rain falling in the watershed Saturday.
Early Sunday, there was a rapid rise in the creek’s level and flow following the heavy rainfall, which dropped more than 40 millimetres of rain in the watershed in a 10-hour period.
“Local crews continue to monitor weather conditions and the levels and flows of area water courses as they could see further increases as a result of any additional rainfall,” said CORD’s Bruce Smith. ” People should be aware that creeks could rise unexpectedly.”
While the level showed a slight decrease later in the day, emergency program officials are urging caution as additional rain could see another increase.
As a result of the rising waters, the regional district closed the two Mission Creek Greenway underpasses at the Casorso Road Bridge and the Gordon Drive Bridge. Both underpass routes will remain closed until creek waters recede and the trails can be assessed for safety, said the regional district’s Bruce Smith.
Pedestrians and cyclists are asked to use caution and only cross Casorso Road and Gordon Drive when it is safe. Motorists are also asked to watch for Greenway users who may be crossing at those locations while the underpasses are closed. As well, a low lying section of the Mission Creek Greenway is now closed between the Cedar Bridge (second bridge) and Smoothing Stone Bridge (third bridge) along Phase 2 of the recreational trail.
All property owners in low lying areas near creeks and streams are being urged to protect their properties from potential flooding.
Meanwhile, officials with emergency program and Joe Rich Fire Rescue are continuing to monitor the status of a property adjacent to Mission Creek in the Joe Rich area.
On Sunday, a professional engineer checked the private property, in the 11200-block of Highway 33 near the Three Forks Bridge. While Mission Creek is flowing around the principle residence, the engineer said there was no action that could be safely completed due to the high water. The same property was threatened two weeks ago due to high water levels in the adjacent creek.
Joe Rich Fire Rescue said it will continue to monitor the property in the event there are any changes.
Also, the warning to keep people and pets a safe distance from creek banks, as they may be slippery and unstable and could be subject to erosion and undercutting from high flows during this runoff, remains in place.
Anyone noticing a potential problem or flooding concern in the Central Okanagan is asked to call the Regional Fire Dispatch at: 250-469-8577. Sandbags are available at local fire halls for any property owner facing imminent danger from flooding.
Information on flood preparedness including a recommended method for sandbag diking is available on the Regional Emergency Operation Centre website www.cordemergency.ca and the Emergency Management BC website: pep.bc.ca/floods/preparedness.html.
In light of the high water levels of all Central Okanagan lakes, boaters are asked to keep their speeds and wakes down to prevent possible shoreline erosion. Please be aware of floating debris in area lakes due to the continued runoff.
In the event of an emergency and activation of the Central Okanagan Emergency Operation Centre (EOC), the latest information will be available online at the new EOC Public Information website: www.cordemergency.ca.