Okanagan Lake continues to rise and is approaching levels last seen in the early 1990s.
The lake rose 3.7 centimetres on Saturday, bringing the level to 342.83 metres – 4 centimetres off 1990s flood level and 17cm away from this year’s projected peak of 343m. High temperatures are now causing the upper snowpack to melt.
Officials are now saying the lake will rise for approximately three more weeks and also that many properties that are in danger of flooding around the lake, are not prepared.
Emergency Operations Centre officials conducted a detailed shoreline survey and surveillance flights to determine where flooding will likely occur up to 343.6m – the projected Okanagan Lake flood level (343m), plus a buffer for wave action.
Officials observed that many at-risk lakefront properties lack adequate foreshore protection to this level.
Flooding has already started to occur in low lying areas, so the sooner flood measures are in place, the better. Simple steps like placing sandbags and removing valuables from below ground basements and crawlspaces will help protect at-risk properties.
Sandbagging stations are stocked and replenished daily at several locations throughout the Central Okanagan. Visit www.cordemergency.ca/map to find the location closest to you.
Please, Don’t Boat
Boating is not recommended because wakes can cause significant impacts on vulnerable properties. Boaters choosing to access Okanagan Lake are urged to drive slowly, stay away from the shore and avoid several areas at risk due to high waters and wave action.
Boat wakes can have significant impact on vulnerable properties. Boaters are reminded that they can be fined for operating a power-boat over 10 km/h within 30 metres of shore. Boaters who choose to disregard safety notifications may also be fined.
Flooding has deposited significant debris in Okanagan Lake, including large trees, branches, and even submerged docks, making navigation on the lake hazardous.
Flood Protection Work Continues
Municipal and public safety crews continue to install flood protection works including sandbag walls, bladder dams and gabion barriers. The public is asked to leave these installations alone for their own safety and to ensure the continued protection of community infrastructure and property.
Debris washed up on beaches should be left for the time being, as logs and other wood material can help to limit erosion caused by wave action. When the flood risk has passed, officials will provide details about how beach debris will be removed.
Find information on flood preparation, including sand and sandbag locations, how to effectively build sandbag walls and secure docks at www.cordemergency.ca/beprepared/flood-faq. For municipal-specific information, including the status of boat launches, waterfront park and beach closures, visit individual city or district websites: