Rising levels of Mission Creek and other watersheds in the Okanagan may cause minor flooding in low-lying areas. -Image credit: Shutterstock.com

Potential of minor flooding from rising creeks

High streamflow advisory issued in Kelowna and Vernon areas

  • May. 4, 2017 2:30 p.m.

The BC River Forecast Centre has issued a High Streamflow Advisory affecting the Mission Creek and other watersheds in the Okanagan. This includes areas in and around Kelowna and Vernon.

The provincial agency says expected warmer daytime temperatures over the next few days should see a significant melting of the mid-elevation snowpack. That combined with possible heavy rains and thunderstorms forecast by Environment Canada and saturated soil conditions due to recent wet weather will likely result in rising levels in creeks throughout the Central Okanagan.

A High Streamflow Advisory means that river levels are rising or expected to rise rapidly, but that no major flooding is expected. Minor flooding in low-lying areas is possible.

Officials continue to monitor weather patterns and water levels of local creeks, streams and lakes. The River Forecast Centre will update information as needed.

At this time of year during the spring runoff, the Central Okanagan Emergency Program encourages residents and property owners in low lying and flood prone areas to take appropriate measures to prepare and protect their properties as conditions can change rapidly.

Information and pamphlets on flood preparedness including a recommended method for sandbag diking are available from the Regional District of Central Okanagan office (1450 KLO Road) and the main City of Kelowna fire hall on Enterprise Way as well as through links on the Be Prepared page on the Regional Emergency Operation Centre website www.cordemergency.ca and the Prepared BC website.

Anyone noticing a potential problem or new 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. At this time they are responsible for providing their own sand.

At this time of year, Central Okanagan residents are asked to use caution around all local water bodies. People are reminded that water levels may rise unexpectedly and they and their pets should stay safely back from creek banks, which may be slippery or subject to erosion from the spring runoff. Okanagan Lake boaters are also advised to be on the look-out for floating debris carried into the lake from rising and faster flowing tributaries.

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 EOC Information website: www.cordemergency.ca.

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